A Healthy Relationship with Failure
Some people have the notion that if they “Can’t do it right, they won’t do it at all.”
In my opinion, this is a strategy to avoid the possibility and likelihood of failure. I find that ironic since failure is inevitable. If you are playing the game of business at all, it will happen. You will fail. Every choice, effort and move you make has to line up just right to get your intended outcome. It makes sense that it will not happen at times.
As a business coach, I have noticed that people who are very accomplished have a healthy relationship with failure. They embrace it, watch for it, learn from their mistakes, and move on. Sometimes they even publicize their failures, modeling the kind of leadership they want to see in their employees. They seem to know that who they are is not their results.
Most of us only see these high powered, accomplished individuals when they are in the public and enjoying some success. We do not see the everyday struggles, disappointments and failures. On the phone weekly with my clients, I have a privileged point of view. I hear the hesitation, the pain, the disappointment as well as the wins, successes, and accomplishments.
Accomplished people seem to understand some simple truths, that they are not their mistakes and they are not their behaviors. Both of those are changeable. They seem to understand that who we are as human beings is constant. They are people who can fall down, smile, pick themselves up and keep going. They also know in their heart that when they fail at something, they are not a failure. When they make a mistake, they are not a mistake. When they do something wrong, they are not wrong.
I have also noticed that successful people seem less unlikely to avoid their feelings such as rejection, suffering, self-doubt, fear, and dissatisfaction. One of my clients Joe would say, “It’s just part of the ride. It is normal to have fear sometimes, to feel lost sometimes, and to be disappointed. I wouldn’t trade any of this for a dull cubicle and a steady paycheck”. Confident people understand that mastery is a succession of failures, not wins. They understand that you have to be bad at something and keep going to master it. Failure and success are events.
Whatever emotion or circumstance has been stopping you; I encourage you to go for it.