I fail at many things: communicating the value proposition of our business when we have severely over serviced a client, walking my dog each day, keeping employees engaged, keeping a timesheet and letting go.
My biggest failure
Letting go is my biggest failure. I find it hard to let go even though my head tells me that it is the sensible thing to do.
I read articles about people who provide aphorisms celebrating their failures, and I often feel that mostly it's just a publicity stunt. As a marketer I know that if I blog about failure, it will get 10 times the number of readers, and be shared more than any other blog that I may write. People love that sincerity. They say our best lessons are in our failures and for the most part that is true, but it doesn't feel great to be constantly whipped with the failure stick.
The truth. The superglue.
Truth be told, when I fail at something important to me, it feels like I have been hit over the head with a heavy log and my whole body plummets to the ground. My feet feel like they have somehow been superglued to the ground, unable to move or release that horrid feeling of failing - yet again.
My mood changes. My smile disappears. My vision becomes blurred. I feel beaten down.
My first thoughts are not of how I can get myself out of the position of "failure" but of how I got there in the first place. I analyze every single aspect of what led me to that position then I go over it over and over again.
At some point, this exhausts me. I come to a point where I realize that there is only so much you can go over and while you may have failed, you certainly can't change the fact that it happened. What you can do is understand it better, learn from it and then recover.
In the learning phase, my thoughts always lead to how I can minimise the impact of the failure. What can I do to lessen the extent of failing? Who does the failure impact and what have I done to help them better understand what has happened and what solutions I plan to put in place to fix the problem. What can I learn from this? How can I improve the way I manage failure?
Failure is bad?
We are programmed at a young age to believe that failure is bad. But it is in failure we understand our true self. The person we are. How we handle failure and learn from it is the essence of what type of person we are and how strong and resilient we are when things don't go our way.
Mostly when people fail, they place blame. If something fails in my business, I never blame another. I blame myself. But even in this thought process, it doesn't make sense. Failure is something that we should never blame someone for, even ourselves. It is inevitable that we will all fail over and over again. Instead of seeing a negative, see a positive. Embrace it. Not in the way you say it's ok to make the same mistakes over and over again, but more in a way that says that this happened, I've learned a few lessons, and next time I am going to handle it better.
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