I was guesting on a podcast last week, called “The story in your head” and we were talking about taking chances and how sometimes when you take a chance you fail.
The co-host, Ron, said “I think that we vastly underestimate our ability to recover.” And, I instantly wrote that down and said: I’m going to be talking about that in a future episode of Rise and Thrive. So, Deb and Ron, if you are listening, here goes!
The reason it stood out to me so much is that I believe there is an inherent truth to it.
I’ve coached a lot of people in my career, and the fear of failure comes up a lot. As I reflect on many of those conversations, it seems like we think that failing is bigger than we are.
And, it simply isn’t.
First of all, even when we take an action and it fails, 3 important things still happen:
1. we still gain confidence
2. If the action is in line with our future vision of ourselves, then we have still taken an action that will strengthen that future identity. For example, back when I was just starting my speaking career, there were times when I was nervous because the event was larger than what I had done before. Obviously, I wanted to do well and I didn’t want to fail. What I told myself before walking into these events was that even if I failed, I could be proud of myself for trying and for taking an action that was leading me in my desired action. Now, was I going to do everything I could not to fail, of course.
3. If we fail – and if we keep our ego out of the way – we can still learn, which only helps us to move forward.
Second, over the course of our lifetime, through every challenge, opportunity, wins and failures that we’ve ever had, we have built a tremendous capacity to respond and to recover. The courage and resiliency and ability to learn that you’ve built over your lifetime aren’t suddenly going to leave you if you fail. No. That’s when those things – those attributes that you’ve built over the years – will show up to serve you best.
East Troublesome Fire – house is probably gone – 2 in the morning – Really? This will be the thing that you can’t work through? No. I don’t think so.
An activity that can be super helpful is to think about (or write about) the major wins and challenges that you’ve had in your life. Now, think about what you did that contributed to the win or to overcoming the challenge. This is a way to build awareness of your strengths, to verbalize them, and to increase your confidence and reduce anxiety around failing.
And, at the end of the day, if you do fail, welcome to the club. At least you have the courage to try. And that is something to be proud of.
Have a great week and keep thriving!