Can You Fail Your Way to Success?
It seems unnecessary to point out that most of us are programed to avoid failure at all costs. It seems to be among the top 10 things not to do, I am baffled that ‘Thou shalt not fail’ didn’t make it into the commandments. Which leaves me wondering where that even got started? After all, how many of us have had raving successes with our first idea, or business venture?
Indeed, it is an exception to have an idea, launch it and have it be wildly successful. For the vast majority of us, and those who now have successful business, or even empires, failure paved the way for something greater to show up. I don’t need to use space here giving you the numbers. But if you look up how many times Elon Musk or Walt Disney had rejections or 'failures' before they had the wild success, the numbers are fairly staggering in favor of failure.
So, is failure really failure? Or, is going for it and taking a chance actually the surest way to hit the target and SUCCEED? Perhaps, the adage, “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” is one to embrace with abandon!
This leaves me curious about all the ideas I never acted on, and all the ideas any of us have never acted on in order to avoid making a mistake. What ideas have you pushed away, or set to the side because you weren’t sure if they would work, or because you weren’t sure how to institute them? Are any of them still tugging at you, begging for a chance to be out there in the world?
If I told you how many different jobs, and careers I have had you would laugh. I would get all excited about something and immediately find a way to enroll in a program to learn about it. Often, I would do whatever it is for a while, until the novelty of it wore off, and then move on the next bright, shiny thing. Most people out there would probably call me flakey, or indecisive and be more than happy to point out all of my failures in the abandoned careers I left scattered behind me. And, many have. I even bought a lot of it and wore it like a cheap suit for a long time. While all the while knowing deep inside I was on to something- something that no one functioning from logic or the rational could tell you, mostly because they would never take a chance and find out…
Each of those “failures,” gave me something that I would not have, know or be now, if I hadn’t followed my instincts. And, I really like who I am. I am grateful for all the people I have met and learned from along the way, for all of the skills I now have, and all of the ones I don’t, because it wasn’t really a good fit for me. Each of these experience and choices I was willing to make has added a different piece of fabric to the tapestry of my life.
As a Facilitator, Coach and Teacher, I could never offer what I do, with the depth and breadth that I do, had I not made the choices I did. Some of them resulted in epic failure. And, I could choose to dwell on that; all of the fuck-ups and missed steps and all of the people I let down along the way. But, mostly, I don’t. Instead I embrace the idea that choice creates awareness. I now know things about me I wouldn’t have otherwise. Some of it is stuff I am changing, because it really doesn’t work to my advantage. Other things I honor as my quirks, and part of what makes me- me, and interesting.
We have to be willing to be judged and do our best to not buy it as real. Instead we can choose to acknowledge it’s just someone else’s point of view. And that is ok. We all have them. It doesn’t make them true.
I now have inspirations and have more “willingness’ to jump into them than I ever have before. For if we don’t explore them, nothing different will show up. I can choose towards the uncomfortable with more ease. And, so often, the treasures lie in uncomfortable territory.
Ignore the danger signs, and proceed, not with caution, but awareness. For when we pay attention to our awareness we know the difference between real danger, not-great-choices, and excitement (which feels like fear, but isn’t) about some magnificent possibility that can be actualized if we will just lean in, do something new, risk judgement and go for it.