The Iceberg Illusion

25 Apr The Iceberg Illusion

What would you do, even if you knew you were going to fail? Often in life, we let the fear of failure stop us from even attempting things. We worry that the business may not succeed, so we never start. We worry about not having enough money, so we stay in jobs that make us miserable all the time. We fear no one will read the book, so we never write it. Fear of failure is the reason many of us never live up to our full potential.

The reality is, that while there is no guarantee of success in anything we do in life, the surest way to accomplish nothing is to make no attempt.

In today’s world, there’s a lot of focus and attention on the trappings of success – the fancy house, cars, exotic holidays etc. There’s nothing wrong with these but what we often don’t see is the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. This is known as the ‘Iceberg Illusion’. Illustrated in this image by a brilliant teacher in Canada, Sylvia Duckworth, Icerberg Illusion describes how we often don’t see the failure and disappointment that occurs beneath the surface, to create something grand and amazing.

Walt Disney, the founder of the eponymous entertainment company, is one the greatest success stories of all times. He was fired from a newspaper because – wait for it – he lacked creativity! He started his film animation company called ‘Laugh-O-Gram Films’ with $15,000 capital he had raised but the business went bust when an important distribution partner closed.

However, Mr Disney wasn’t going to let these failures stop him. Somehow, he found his way to Hollywood and the rest is history.

It’s important that we learn to embrace failure as part of the learning process. As Winston Churchill once observed, “success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

So, here’s the question. What would you attempt even if you knew failure might happen? Drop us a line with your thoughts and we will be a sounding board, offer advice and constructive criticism. Talking it through with someone else helps you realise your potential.