Many of us, when we screw up, fail, or are rejected, do two things without thinking: first we cover it up; second, we go right from the “failure” to “I’m worthless!” We take it personally and the learning we take away is to never, ever to get caught in that kind of situation again. The lesson? Play not to lose.
Larry Wilson and Hersch Wilson wrote this in PLAY TO WIN! Choosing Growth over Fear in Work and Life. They continued:
The “game changers” came to the belief that the game was about learning. How they learned was by putting themselves at risk, “failing,” learning, and then trying again. They were successful because they allowed themselves to make mistakes and to learn quickly from those mistakes.
A completely different way of thinking about failure. Does this mean that [they]weren’t hurt by rejection or failure? Of course not. We are wired to be affected by perceived slights and insults. The difference is that these individuals had developed a process for thinking and dealing with failure that allowed them to bounce back faster, keep it in perspective, and move on. The core part of the process was thinking more deeply and clearly about what failure truly means – and what it doesn’t.
“I cannot fail, I can only learn and grow.” At a very deep level, the people we looked at in Changing the Game took what others perceived to be “failure” experiences and turned them into growth experiences. More important, they really didn’t believe in failure. They had taken the time and energy to get underneath that culturally powerful word and think about it, to ask, “What does failure really mean? What is the worst that could happen? Will I die? Will I be cast out into darkness?” What they discovered was that most of their fear of failure was based on – guess what? – irrational thinking.
We’ve featured some terrific lessons learned from small biz people recently. With this post, I’m starting a new daily series on changing how we think of failure. Each day I’ll present a quote with a notable point about failure. Because failure is a necessary part of success.
- In an economic crisis, spend your brainpower before your dollars - November 25, 2020
- Video: How to fill empty car dealership buildings for the holidays - November 6, 2020
- How has 2020 changed the challenges rural small towns face? Tell us here - October 20, 2020
- The Idea Friendly Method to surviving a business crisis - October 6, 2020
- Join me for the Rural Renewal Symposium online Oct 13 - September 26, 2020
- Cheap placemaking idea: instant murals - September 11, 2020
- Refilling the rural business pipeline - July 7, 2020
- Huge vacant buildings: grants to renovate? - June 9, 2020
- Economic self defense for small towns - June 7, 2020
- The best things you can do for local businesses in light of coronavirus - March 27, 2020