One of the biggest fears we collectively have as humans is a fear of failure. It’s a fear of falling short and not being good enough. A fear of disappointing others and damaging relationships. A fear of regretting how you wasted time and effort on something that wasn’t worth it. Often when we think of failure we think negatively in these ways, but with a change in perspective you’ll find that failure can be a great catalyst in your life.
In fact, failure is an information rich resource. In general the way that things get better is through a feedback loop. In entrepreneurship it’s the 3 step process of testing, learning, and iterating that leads to making incremental progress. We learn some from our wins but we learn way more from our losses, and within failure there are lessons that will accelerate your learning curve exponentially.
Failure is an uncomfortable thing to experience. It can be embarrassing, awkward, and even depressing. But the more you can embrace your moments of failure and really observe what happened, the more you’ll be able to extract from the experience. If you can overcome your emotional bias to avoid or reject instances of failure, the more present you’ll be with opportunities within it.
Saying this is one thing but implementing it is another, and that’s where I want to share my process. One of the most beneficial things we can do to live a more intentional life is to make decisions in advance. This helps us have an unemotional reference point that represents our best self when making emotional decisions in the moment.
To curb the negative emotions of failure, I have standing periods of personal review where I allow myself to really hunt for the lessons in my life. I do this on a quarterly, monthly, weekly, and in some cases daily basis for my most fundamental habits and projects. This allows me to consistently learn and iterate so that I can make faster progress in my life.
Now that you’re a bit more removed from your latest failure, and that learning is still available to you, ask yourself this question: What is one key takeaway you have from the last time you failed?
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