women in business no fear of failure
Clean Thinking, Problem Solving

Failure: How to do it well

People are afraid of failure. I used to be one of them! People are afraid because they believe failing fundamentally means something.

But what if it doesn’t? What if failure just means you were expecting one thing to happen and something else happened instead? Think of it in terms of neutral outcomes (facts), rather than fails or wins.

It’s not rocket science to understand that people learn from mistakes and fails.

But have you considered the converse? What if NOT making mistakes and NOT having any fails means you’re stunting yourself?

That would suck.

But it’s true. If you haven’t had a spectacular fail in the last year, you haven’t even given yourself the opportunity to learn anything. I’m not talking about book learning, or research. I’m talking about human development and evolving as a person. An individual’s growth and development tends to flatline in mid-life and mid-career. Our teens and twenties were chock-full of firsts, lots of nerve-wracking things that gave us butterflies and the good kind of stress. In contrast, later in life, adults are busy adulting, yet have no true fails to show for that period, no fails to have learned anything from. They’re just… being.

And sometimes, people feel like they’re failing anyway! Listen, it’s not really a fail if you’re not putting yourself out there.

If you’re hiding and trying desperately NOT to fail, yet feel like you’re failing anyway, you might as well try to fail spectacularly and learn something.

 

Still nervous about failing? That’s OK. You know what? Do it anyway.

I’ll show you how. Read on after the 2 minute video.


You don’t have to be afraid of failure if you have what it takes to fail well.

  1. You have to have a desired outcome, something you’re shooting for. A goal, an objective, whatever you want to call it. You don’t fail well if you’re operating blindly and not aiming for anything in particular.
  2. You try. Really hard. Employing the D.A.R.T. Method(TM) here helps tremendously, especially the part where you account for challenges and roadblocks. You don’t fail well if you do things half-assed. Go all in.
  3. You are fully accountable for whatever the outcome is. Use the mindset that a failure is never someone else’s fault, or simply a result of circumstances. Own the outcome. You can describe the outcome however you want, but if it’s not the outcome you were expecting, your “fail” is spectacularly bad if you point the finger elsewhere.

The last point is true regardless of the outcome. You own EVERYTHING about how it turns out. If you follow points 1 and 2, it turns out you’re actually MUCH more likely to succeed than fail anyway, so when you have a win (woot! woot!), own that, too!


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