One of the main reasons I’ve seen for people to not set goals is because they have a fear of failure.
And frankly I don’t think this is unreasonable. For many of us we have been raised to believe that failure is to be avoided at all cost. Even if it means not trying something.
But what I’d like to offer you is this…you should fail. You should fail daily. There is a quote by Albert Einstein that I love.
Anyone who has never made mistake has never tired anything new.
BRILLIANT! If you only do what you know you can do, you don’t grow. You don’t become successful at your side hustle, you don’t finish that children’s book you have been working on, and you don’t go back to school to finish your degree. In order to live the life you have always dreamed of you have to be willing and OPEN to failing because in failing we learn such valuable lessons.
Let me give you an example of how I learned from a a failure, it’s a little one but at the time it felt really BIG. About a year in a half ago I held my first webinar training as entrepreneur. Not only was it my first time to host a webinar it was also the first time I used Zoom. Now I had practiced and practiced my presentation so come the night of the training I thought I had it all together. I was ready to go and I was pumped! Then the wheels came off the bus. About 15 minutes into a 25-minute presentation Zoom starting flashing this big read warning message at me saying your session will end in 5 minutes. Now I’m live. With about 30 people. I’m trying to keep my cool but I’m freaking OUT! WTF is this message about. Why is my session going to end before it’s scheduled to!!! I try and figure out what’s happening on one monitor while still talking and running the presentation on another. BUT as promised Zoom closed my session in 5 mins, right in the middle of my presentation. Now I can’t repeat the words I was using after this happened but let’s just say it was not pretty. Luckily my husband had dialed into this session to observe and he assumed something happened on his side so he just dialed back in. When he realized that I was also off line he came running into the office to say "dial back in dial back in…everyone is dialing back in". So I did and played it off as a technical issue and finished the training without any other issues. But after the session ended I was in tears. I felt like a failure. My first ever live training and I felt like I had blown it. And to be honest I did wallow in that emotion for about an hour. Then I got curious. And that curiosity lead me to figure out what had happened. I was using Zoom's free service back then and when you were on the free version your session could not last longer than 30 minutes. I knew this and had scheduled my session for 25 minutes thinking I would be ok. What I did not realize is that the 30-minute clock started the minute ANYONE dialed in. And several people had dialed in early myself included. Once I realized that I started laughing. Now I could have continued to wallow and be judgmental with myself but instead I just thought, well that won’t happen ever again. I’m getting the paid version! I used that experience to learn a very valuable lesson, do a bit more research into “limitations” of free services. And be willing to invest in yourself.
When I work with my coaching clients in my Goals Setting program I challenge them to begin to develop an appreciation of failure. And a great way to do that is to take time to reflect on your learned lessons. Now I know what you are thinking. NOW WAY man. I’m not revisiting old failures. I get it. Who wants to revisit their past failures and the emotion that can potentially come with that reflection? However, if you can approach this exercise without judgement and with your mind focused on what you learned you can begin to see how valuable failures can be. I challenge you to take 20 minutes after reading this post and list out a few of your most recent failures. These can be just a one sentence description. After writing down the description take the time to look at what you learned from the experience and write that down as well. This will help you begin to flex your muscle around examining what you learn from any experience.
If you find the thought “what if I fail” coming into play when setting your goals. Replace it with this thought: The purpose of goals is not the achievement of a goal; it is about who I become in the process of achieving my goals. If you can shift your mindset to appreciate failures as a growth opportunity your ability to reach new heights in your personal or professional life will grow by leaps and bounds!