“Decide what to be and go be it.” Head Full of Doubt, The Avett Brothers
Over the weekend, one of my six-year-olds (we have two, it happens with twins) told me she was probably going to fail … and I loved it.
My wife was travelling so I took all four littles to the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. Think outdoor adventureland of rafting, zip-lining, ropes courses, and more. All with really great beer … on tap … everywhere.
This was the first time for the twins. They were excited to attack the climbing wall, so we started there. After tackling the “easy” section, the girls started to explore more difficult climbs.
Princess: Daddy, can I try number six?
Daddy: Of course, but it’s verrrrrry hard.
Princess: How hard?
Daddy: The boys and I have never made it past the bottom. It’s the second hardest.
(Thinking … then smiling).
Princess: I want to try, even if I fail.
Her words exactly. Verbatim. YYYEEESSSS! Parent win!
At what point did we stop taking chances? Kids do it constantly … it’s how they learn to walk, talk, and judge their parents. When did “failure” as an adult become synonymous with “worthless human”? Maybe it hasn’t, but it sure feels that way. I consistently work with people who say “they’re scared.” Ok, scared of what? “Well, what if it doesn’t work?” Ummmm, yeah, what if it doesn’t?
Everyone should print a big sign that reads, “WHAT’S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN?” and post it in a prominent place. If the answer isn’t financial insolvency or death, maybe it’s worth trying. A common denominator with big leaders all over the corporate world is failure. The willingness to try new things, analyze the results, and learn valuable lessons sets them apart from those who are mindlessly drifting through lyfe.
I fail. A lot. I see that as a sign of progress. Fail, learn, fix, repeat. Let’s have an honest moment – no one is perfect. We all fail. So, let’s embrace it. Instead of working so hard to hide failures, use them as a way to connect with your target market. Remember, they’re probably human, too … which means they’ll relate! Scars are cool, it means there’s a backstory. Stop covering them with bandages.
As long as you remain honest in your assessment, intentionally thinking about the Event, the Response, and the Outcome, you’ll end up as a more complete version of you … ready to tackle the next challenge without hesitation.
Lyfe Lesson: Embrace failure. Consider, “what’s the worst that can happen?” Analyze the Event, Response, and Outcome – make alterations and try again.