Fail like a boss! That’s what we’re going to do today so you can get the most out of your failure. If you’ve messed up and screwed up royally, know you’re not alone. Consider the failures of other people just like you…
Ever heard of the guy who wanted to irrigate deserts of the world by sending a constant supply of snowballs from the polar region through a massive network of giant peashooters?
You’re smiling. You’re also thinking, “she’s making this up.”
It’s all documented in a book I’m reading called The Book of Failures, by Stephen Pile. It’s got unbelievable stuff in it. I’m putting together a presentation for Chick-Fil-A leaders on failure and I’m using some of these stories to show that everyone – yes – everyone – FAILS.
In fact, you have to experience failure in order to have success.
Think about some of your big flops for a moment.
Do they still sting?
Take comfort in knowing other people have failed bigger than you…
Just for kicks, look at this stupendous fail:
Back in 1978 a fireman’s strike in England made possible one of the greatest animal rescue attempts of all time. The British Army had taken over emergency firefighting. One day, January 14th – if you care to know, they were called out by an elderly lady in South London to retrieve her cat.
They arrived with impressive speed, and very cleverly and carefully rescued the cat and started to drive away. But the lady was so grateful she invited the squad of heroes in for tea. Driving away later, waving goodbye, they ran over the cat and killed it.
OMGosh! Sorry —I can’t help but laugh. They killed it!
Obviously, no one goes out of the way to have bad experiences. But the truth is, the negative experiences we have can do us some good, if we are willing to let them.
The next time you have a bad experience, allow it to help you do the following:
1. Accept your humanness. No matter how good you are at something, you will mess up at times. So when you do, give yourself some grace.
2. Learn to laugh at yourself and life. Does humor fix everything in life? No, but it will make it more tolerable. Laughter is like changing a baby’s diaper —it doesn’t permanently solve any problems, but it makes things more acceptable for a while.
3. Keep the right perspective. Denis Waitley says, “Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.” When you’re little, the waves look massive, and you fear that they may overwhelm you. As an adult, the same size waves may be seen as a source of relaxation and fun. Fight for the right perspective.
4. Don’t base your self-worth on a bad experience. You are not your performance. Read that again! And you don’t have to be defined by your worst moments. So don’t base your self-image on those things. Don’t ever tell yourself, “I am a failure.” Instead, say to yourself: I may have missed that one, but I’m still okay. I can still be a winner.”
5. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. One of the worst things you can to is start feeling sorry for yourself. Ok, if you have a bad experience, you can feel sorry for yourself for twenty-four hours, but then after that, pic yourself up and get moving again. Because if you start to wallow you just might get stuck.
I love how the Bible encourages us to “number our days.” (Psalm 90:12). The verse goes on to promise that when we do that we get wiser. I take this to mean we gain wisdom when we look at the bigger picture.
Have you failed recently? Almost to the point of distraction? Number your days. Get a little perspective. Realize that it won’t be long before you will look back on that up-tight, high-powered, super-charged issue with a whole new outlook.
You may laugh out loud in the future at something you’re eating your heart out over today.
If something blows up in your face today, after the smoke clears, try smiling instead of crying.
Know someone who needs this? Share it with them!
If you need personal or corporate coaching for getting over failure, connect with me here, and let’s talk about how I can work with you to use failure to your benefit. Click here to learn about coaching services now.