You don’t like to fail. In fact, you may be terrified of failure. And you have trouble not seeing any minor mistake as a monumental failure. Right? Am I in your head? Yeah? It’s pretty wild in here. So many monkeys.
But what is failure? What are the advantages of failure? Why do I think you should start failing as soon as you can, especially if you’re a parent?
( Just so we’re clear. I’m not suggesting that you begin to fail, as in, become a serial killer. Or start a cocaine habit. Or forget to pick your kids up at school for several days. Just so we’re clear.)
You weren’t born afraid to fail. Watch a child learning to walk. Lots of failing. Early learning includes much trial and much error. When did you become too big to fail?
And now, do you worry that you’re too smart to fail?
If you were a fast learner, if you were an early reader, if you used words like “entomology” when you were five, if you were told over and over how smart you were, if there were piles of praise every time you aced a test, then, you may have felt that your abilities and your achievements were what made you worthy, what made you lovable. You may have concluded that anything less than perfect was a failure and failure meant that you were not such a smart person after all.
It’s time to start failing.
You don’t have to fail like Elon Musk and blow up a rocket. You don’t have to fail like Steve Jobs and be fired from the company that you created. Small “failures” will be just fine, for starters. Excellence instead of perfection, for example. A “B” on your final exam. A loud emotional outburst in the middle of a board meeting.
Eventually, you may even rethink the word failure. Instead, you’ll make a mistake, an error, a gaffe, a blunder. Small stuff. No big deal. And even if you experience an actual failure, you’ll know it’s something that you do, not something that you are.
Trust me. You’ll still be smart. You’ll still be lovable. And, you will learn much more from failure than you’ll ever learn from success.
Your children will thank you.
And your stand-up comedy routines? Well, they’ll be so much funnier.
“You gotta learn to love when you’re failing…The embracing of that, the discomfort of failing in front of an audience, leads you to penetrate through the fear that blinds you…” Stephen Colbert
To my darling blogEEs: (We’ve known each other for two years now, I think I can call you darling.) Yes, I’ve been blogging now for two years this month. I’m so grateful to all of you for reading, sharing, and commenting. Tell us how you feel about failure and if you’re able to accept and appreciate your blunders. When have you had a good outcome from a failure?