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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Instead of Working so Hard to Avoid Failure, How About Turning it on Its Head

Failure is inevitable, it’s to be expected—so we create a contingency plan for it, we find ways to learn from it and come back stronger… essentially learning how to become masters of failure. 

Bear with me on this metaphor for a hot second. Failure is a bump in the road that we need to learn to navigate our vehicle on, around, or through. Preparing for this bump could be buying or creating a new map, driving slower, souping up your vehicle’s tires, or building or buying a massive super-vehicle.

In the real world, moving away from the vehicle/bump-in-the-road metaphor; there are at least thousands of ways to prepare. I could certainly, but won’t (the audience collectively sighs in relief), write about all the combinations and permutations—but the only thing to do here is talk about mindset.

You can control how you respond to failure (even if you don’t know how to respond specifically just yet). Knowing, conceptually at least, that you’re not a failure if you fail, even repeatedly; is a great first step. But as par for the course, you will have to tell yourself often that you’re not a failure—depending on how big your risks are and often you’re taking them—weekly, daily, or hourly.

I know I certainly do… and I don’t know if that will ever go away. There are always bigger fish to fry (or larger chunks of seitan, I suppose for my non-meat eating friends).

Despite the variety of different circumstances, the need and developing a mindset to adequately prepare for failure is the one catch all.

There is no bad news here, only good news. Preparing for and then dealing with failure does get easier. Failure does involve some pain but so does the deliberate numbing of pain as well (just delayed and more intense). 

Planning for failure, (grasping it and then wrestling it to the ground) makes the impossible, “I’M” possible, or if you prefer it less cutesy... the impossible becomes possible.

Look for more posts on failure and developing contingencies, and creating powerful possibilities.