Perfectionists everywhere cringe while the average American reader is probably flabbergasted. After all, most of us are raised to believe “failure is not an option.” That you must succeed or else. Pfft. What a bunch of nonsense. And way too much pressure!
For some people the traditional way of thinking works. It motivates them to strive harder and suffer longer, all in the name of success (as defined by them, of course).
While others – so scared of the f-word – become paralyzed and, thus, fail due to their inability to take the first step. Crazy, huh?
Here’s my humble suggestion: fail, and fail miserably.
Imprisoned by perfectionism for nearly 30 years, it’s not easy to write those words. And even more difficult to put them into action. Nonetheless, the past nine months have taught me: It’s okay to fail. Doing so doesn’t mean you’re “bad.” It doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of success (however you define that word).
But, if you don’t fall on your face at least once, you’ll never learn what works and what doesn’t work for your particular situation. You won’t learn new ways to do things, maybe better ways. A great quote states, “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.”
Failure is an opportunity, not a problem. Step back and re-evaluate:
- The goals you want to achieve
- The process you use to reach those goals
- The timeframe you’ve set
- And how you will measure success versus failure
So, to anyone who’s reviewing their 2010 resolutions / goals / dreams and notices a lot of “failures” piling up, you’re not alone. The next post will continue this discussion as I figure out where my creative energies will be directed over the next three months. Here’s a hint: Focus on one story or review at a time.
Finally, it’s important to note, failure to meet one’s goals and missed deadlines are entirely different. Missed deadlines do (and will) affect your credibility and worth, especially in a business environment. The hardest part to figure out is how to meet work deadlines and achieve personal goals at the same time. It’s all about balance, which eludes many, including me.
Still, I won’t give up!
Photo credit: Dylan Parker