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?