A musing on picking yourself back up again.
To some it may be obvious, but others may not fully understand the age old saying, ‘try, try again’ – missing out on a lesson in failure. We are all our own worst critics, so it can be scary to see yourself fail. But one way to get around that is to envision yourself failing – to embrace a lesson in failure from the experience. That doesn’t really seem like the most positive way of thinking, but it’s important to expect failure. Nothing is perfect on the first try.
Fear of failure is a huge inhibitor for many people. It gets in the way of getting started, and if failure happens, many people might give up or lose confidence. You should embrace failure. Of course I don’t mean that you should expect to fail every time, but understanding that failing is a natural step in the road to success will help you lose that fear of failure, and get you to your destination sooner.
I grew up playing piano from a young age, and being a goofy youngster with high expectations of myself, I often found myself frustrated when I couldn’t play a song right away. If you put sheet music in front of me I would jump in with both hands at full speed without having taken the right steps to learn the song. I’d get frustrated and give up on learning it. Eventually I learned to keep at it and make that piano sing, but I had to learn to keep trying despite sucking at first.
It wasn’t a bad thing that I jumped in with both hands and tried to play it perfectly right away, though. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have a sense for how the music was supposed to sound when played completely and correctly. It gave me a vision for what I was working toward and even though I failed at first I could go back and keep practicing over and over until I got it right, and even then there was always room to improve.
In a Youtube video from Y Combinator, CEO Michael Seibel says that great founders are those that execute. He says that if a founder says they’re going to do or try something, within two weeks they’ve done it and either succeeded or failed and has learned something from the experience.
This isn’t just true for founders, but for all sorts of creatives and innovators. Whether you’ve succeeded greatly or failed miserably, there is always a lesson to be learned from trying something new. If you’ve failed, or even succeeded while making mistakes along the way, instead of regretting the route you took that ended in failure, take a mindful look at what could be improved upon for the next attempt.