Failure is inevitable! You’re going to fail! And the great thing is, it’s absostinkinlutely ok!
In Next-Level Life, StratPlan, and coaching, the fear of failure is one of the biggest issues I face with so many clients. Whether it’s a team member or a leader, a large portion of our population is afraid of failing.
It’s not good enough for me to say it’s ok to fail, because those who are afraid have been taught that it’s NOT ok. They’ve been taught by parents, teachers or leaders that failure is unacceptable and in many situations, punishable.
In StrengthsFinder 2.0, author Tom Rath talks about how most parents, when seeing their child’s report card of all A’s and one D, would totally focus on the D. Why? Because we aren’t failures here in the United States. Even if it’s not the child’s strong suit.
In other words, if their child was an incredibly talented artist but was struggling in english, instead of pushing toward their talent, they would focus more on the weakness.
That is beyond ridiculous! Failure is one of the greatest teachers. Without it, we have to trust that we know everything to be successful in every situation. The truth is, we don’t!
“But Chris, artists struggle! Where would my child get a job as an artist to support their family?” Uhhhhh…as one of the incredibly well paid graphic artists that so many businesses are in need of?!
When I see leaders who carry the same broken belief system of no failure, I usually find it’s because they have been held to the same impossible standard by someone in their past as well.
Here are some thoughts from some highly successful folks, who’ve had a great number of failures:
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement. ~ C. S. Lewis
I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. ~ Michael Jordan
Ok, I had to throw that last one in there. The sooner you embrace the reality that you will not leave this life without many failures, the sooner you can embrace the lessons that go with the failures.