Embracing Failure

Written by Alicia Marie Fruin

I have heard it said that “if you can’t do it right, then don’t do it at all.”

I wonder how important it really is to always get it “right”? How many times does this philosophy keep us from just taking the next step? Could this just be a strategy designed to play it safe? Do we really think “if I am careful I won’t fail”? Really?

I find that ironic since failure is inevitable.  You will fail…I will fail. We will all hit ceilings of achievement. We will all get stuck. We will all fail now and then. If you are playing in the game of business at all, it will happen. Every choice, effort and move you make has to line up just right to get your intended outcome. It makes sense that it will not happen at times. What is this notion that it is bad to fail really about? Each time we don’t hit our goal it allows us to learn, tweak, re-align our actions and go for it again.

As a business coach, I have noticed that people who are very accomplished have a healthy relationship with failure. They embrace it, watch for it, learn from their mistakes and move on.  Sometimes they even publicize their failures, modeling the kind of leadership they want to see in their employees. They seem to know and understand that who they are is not their job, their business or their results.

Most of us only see these high powered, accomplished individuals when they are in the public and enjoying some measure of success. We do not see the every day struggles, disappointments and failures. On the weekly phone calls with my clients, I have a privileged point of view. I hear the challenges, hesitation, the pain, the disappointment as well as the wins, successes and accomplishments.

Accomplished people seem to understand a simple truth. They are not their mistakes and they are not their behaviors. Both mistakes and behaviors are changeable. They know in their heart that when they fail at something, they are not a failure. When they make a mistake, they are not a mistake. When they do something wrong, they are not wrong. They seem to understand that who they are as a human being is constant. They are people who can fall down, smile, pick themselves up and keep going.

I have also noticed that successful people seem less likely to avoid their emotions such as rejection, guilt, self-doubt, fear, overwhelm and dissatisfaction. Instead they just allow and move through their emotions like a hot knife through butter staying their course regardless of the fear. One of my clients, let’s call him “Joe” would say, “It’s just part of the ride. It is normal to have fear sometimes, to feel lost sometimes, and to be disappointed. I wouldn’t trade any of this for a dull cubicle and a steady paycheck”.

Mastery is a succession of failures, not wins. You have to be bad at something and keep going to master it. Failure and success are events. Whatever emotion or circumstance has been stopping you; I encourage you to embrace the possibility of failure and the emotion that goes with that. If you wait till it feels safe you will have waited too long.  Just take your next step towards your goals today and then again tomorrow and the next day and the next day.

People Biz, Inc. is a coaching and training company that helps clients to achieve measurable transformation in realizing their personal and professional goals. Owner Alicia Marie Fruin has since been coaching, training and helping business owners for over 11 years. Her years of experience as a professional coach, workshop leader and entrepreneur have allowed her to help businesses reach their optimal potential, improving productivity and increasing profits. More information on coaching and training services offered by People Biz, Inc. can be found online at www.peoplebizinc.com or by calling (512) 989-2230.

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