Amongst the many business mentors I have had in my life there is one in particular that comes to mind that has shifted my thinking patterns the most.  This gentleman taught me to fall in love and have a deep understanding of what failure really is.   You see when we were young kids in school a lot people didn’t want to raise their hand or have the spotlight.  Most children are afraid to try to answer a question and get it wrong.  They don’t want to be laughed at or ridiculed for not knowing the answer and kids can be brutal with the laughing and teasing.  We need to start teaching our children that failure is a good thing. In fact we should call on the kid that doesn’t know the answer, help walk him through it, and than applaud him for being brave enough to push through it without having the answer.    I grew up in sports so I had to quickly understand that sometimes you practice really hard, get up to bat, and still strikeout.  If you never get up to bat at all, you never even give yourself a chance of ever hitting the ball.   The key is you can’t quit.  You have to learn from your failures and build upon them so you continue to stretch the very cloth of what it is to be human.  Failure is a building block to success and when you look at a successful person you must understand they weren’t always that way.  There was sacrifice and hard work, sweat, failure over and over and over again behind that successful person.   Learn to love and use failure as a tool and stop letting the fear and that pesky “voice” in your head slow you down.