Celebrating Failure !

Celebrating Failure !

That may seem like an odd pairing of words,”celebrating” and “failure” side by side. And yet it may be one of the most important concepts in any business. Fear of failing is the number one killer of grand plans and good ideas. More than a lack of knowledge or skill, more than the lack of a clear strategy or action plan, the biggest obstacle in the way of progress for anybody is the paralysis caused by the fear of failing.

Most of us learn early in life that failure is bad, even shameful. We learn to hide our failures, make excuses for them, or ignore them. Worse than that, we begin to stop taking risks: we become more cautious in order to avoid even the possibility of failing. We start to limit our choices to only those actions that have a high probability of success. And so our choices become limited, and our field of play becomes smaller. It doesn’t have to be that way !

Failure is the one of the fastest ways of learning – ask any toddler. Small children do not stay up late at night reading the “how to walk” manual, learning the mechanics. They flop, fall, crawl, stand up and flop and crawl some more. There are bumps along with steps and more failure than success, but it never seems to dampen their enthusiasm. In order to take the risks that will enable you to walk and run your live, you must be wiling to flop, fall and get back up and learn from the experience. Learning is the key here. Failing at any action, even failing to take action, is a rich learning opportunity. It is this learning opportunity that we celebrate. Action will lead to learning, but along the way you need to go through the land of failure. There is a difference between failing at something and being a failure. Nobody is a failure, even if we fail at something.

Sometimes to make a significant change in our business or live we have to got to the edge of our ability or capacity. Sometimes we go too far and fail, sometimes we don’t go far enough and fail by missing an opportunity.

Whether a person fails or succeeds, one of the underlying goals is always to look at the learning that results from the experience. That is why I believe failing is v valuable. It is something to honor in us, because it requires courage and commitment to take the risk and to fail. We often learn more from what does not work than from what does work. And that is why we can enthusiastically put the words “celebrating” and “failure” side by side.

We often have to absorb the bump before we can dig into the learning, but that is what it is all about… celebrate your failures …. absorb……learn….. move on…… and be even better….. !

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