As many of my Business Fox Bootcamp alumni know, we spend an entire session on the topic of FAILURE.
Most of us have a pretty contentious relationship to failure. We don’t like it, we avoid it, we won’t tolerate it, we resist it.
Rarely do we embrace it.
I know and coach around the importance of not only tolerating and accepting failure, but actually embracing it in order to catapult our business forward.
J.K.Rowling knows this well as she made it the central theme of her commencement address at Harvard.
Thomas Edison knew this well as he attempted is 8999th try at developing the electric light bulb. (He succeeded on the 9000th try).
Michael Jordan knows this well as he has failed at shots more than he has succeeded and still he is regarded as one of the best, if not the best, basketball players of all time.
Today, I lived what I had been coaching. It’s always true – we coach what we need to learn most.
Today, I was unprepared for a presentation and the show had to go on anyway. I wanted to quit, run, take myself out of the game because I KNEW I wasn’t ready and that I would fail. I KNEW I wouldn’t be my best. I KNEW I wouldn’t achieve the results or the positive evaluations I was capable of.
Every possible circumstance occurred to thwart my having a successful presentation: I was scheduled to speak too early, my materials weren’t ready, there were technological computer and printer breakdowns, and I was under stress I haven’t known in a very long time.
In the end, remembering to embrace failure vs. resisting it was not only what got me through but actually helped me achieve a brilliant moment of success. I decided to accept that I would fail. In that moment, I allowed whatever was going to happen to unfold. I allowed myself to be with my audience, and to share what I know and am passionate about from my heart and from experience.
The feedback to my talk was clearly mixed, but I received one powerful feedback nugget that can transform my entire business strategy. I NEVER could have received this nugget had I done everything perfectly and successfully.
So here’s to FAILURE – it’s absolutely just the other side of SUCCESS.
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