london bead shop electric transport sexs manchester Going Here furniture shops hull benefic ial franck muller casablanca replica fender pawn shop mustang tk maxx uk online oris watches replica shops in inverness Material ikea shopping trolley Details pizzas near me At this website quality omega replica watches Information

Practice Failure

By Jessica Albon

A few years ago, I decided to do something about the way I handled failure. See, my tendency was to beat myself up for even tiny mistakes, and that wasn’t actually helping me make fewer mistakes. So, it seemed sensible to try something new.

What if you aimed for a failure a day?

I decided to make a failure a day part of my to-do list. That’s right, I was now *supposed* to fail. Every day. Some days that was something tiny and other days it was something I didn’t really want a repeat of (like the day I backed my car into a bush in the landscaping).

Though it’s been awhile since I practiced the art of failing daily, I remember that it had the exact effect I was hoping it would: failure became much less worrisome. See, when you’re *required* to fail every day, you do some things hoping they’ll fail just so you can check that off your list. You send the email that’s likely to result in a rejection. You strike up a conversation with the unfriendly grocery store checker almost hoping it won’t be any fun.

Fear of failure is crippling. Just like those ole experts say it is.

As I was writing up an article on 21 ways to promote a website, one of the tips that stood out was to “Promote your website obnoxiously.” As I was writing the description, I remembered that long ago experiment with failure and realized just how crippled I get sometimes by wanting to do things right. Not wanting to ruffle any feathers. Not wanting to get any negative attention.

You’re going to ruffle feathers. And I am too!

And that’s just the point, isn’t it. When you’re promoting your website, or running your business, or just living your life, you’re going to ruffle some feathers. There are going to be people who don’t approve of what you’re doing or how you’re doing it. And if you prioritize that over accomplishing your work, you’re likely to wind up stuck, overwhelmed, and fearful of taking a wrong turn.

Remembering that experiment reminded me of how much fun it actually was to practice failure. You wouldn’t expect that it could be fun to fail, would you? And yet, when we make our only quest success, succeeding isn’t much fun, either.

Today I added “Screw up” to my to-do list and I’m looking forward (with some trepidation) to see how what happens next. Join me?



Annie Sep 8, 2011

Ohhh, Jess, this was exactly what I needed to read today. I’ve been messing up left and right and feeling completely overwhelmed. But of course I’m making mistakes! I’m learning something new. And I’d much rather be doing something I’ve never done before than doing the same old again and again. The first thing I did when I finished this article was to write “Make a Mistake” on my to-do list. Next I’m going to read all about promoting my website obnoxiously ;-).

Thanks for what you do, dear.

Joe Sep 8, 2011

This rocks. I’m in.

Diane Sep 8, 2011

This is exactly what’s been keeping me from even getting started on having a website–that fear that I’m going to completely screw it up. I’ve been reading your stuff for awhile and really like your style. Could we talk–I think I’d like you to design my new site (and perhaps support me with the whole promoting it/getting visitors piece, if you do that as well.) Thanks Jessica!

Jessica Sep 8, 2011

Glad it resonated, Annie! Can’t wait to hear what happens next for you.

Just don’t go messing up any of *our* projects, Joe ;-).

Diane, absolutely, let’s talk! We’d be happy to help.

Ben Sep 9, 2011

Hey Jess, I tried this yesterday all set to tell you that it didn’t work, and yet, as usual, you were right. I approached everything else differently knowing that I *needed* to fail at at least one thing. “Mess Up” was the first thing I put on my list this morning and I can see how it’ll make a big difference in my days. Thanks!

Leslie Sep 9, 2011

I never would have thought about it this way–thanks, Jess!

Leslie Sep 9, 2011

Hey Jess, How do I get a photo of myself to appear like you have? Or is that just something you have because its your site?

Jessica Albon Sep 9, 2011

Glad to hear it worked for you even though you were just trying to prove me wrong, Ben. (Ha! I win twice!)

Leslie, that’s a gravatar, and you can get one here: . Once you’ve associated a gravatar with your email address, lots of blogs will post your photo next to any comments you make.

Michele Christensen Sep 13, 2011

Great post! Once I realized that I’m not that important and that people don’t spend their valuable time talking about my mistakes very often, it became much more comfortable to fail.

Vina Sep 19, 2011

Hi Jessica! I love this post! It’s so true though, and I like the idea of failing everyday. I’ve come a long way from fearing failure but then again, here’s another thing to fail about! 🙂 I love what you are doing here and hmmmm…I think I might need to hire you! 🙂