Failing is not Failure

What have you failed at lately?

All too often in our society, failure is viewed negatively.

It’s something to be avoided.

It’s something shameful.

It’s something we don’t want to admit.

J.K. Rowling says,

“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.”

Simply put, failing is part of the human experience. It’s part of our everyday lives. No one person is excellent at everything and has never failed (at least not one that I’ve met).

As business owners, as parents, we often get down on ourselves when we “fail.”

When our latest and greatest thing (i.e., dinner, family vacation, podcast episode, blog posts, promotion, etc) doesn’t turn out the way we planned, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion because I failed at X, I must be a failure.

Often, we tie our failures to our self-worth and our identity.

Why am I talking about failure?

A couple of weeks ago, Sophie went in for her driving test and failed.

As you can imagine, she was extremely disappointed. She managed to keep her composure as the tester voiced (loud enough for all the room to hear making the experience even worse) the reasons why she wasn’t being granted a license.

As I rescheduled the test, I could see the emotions rising to the surface. The first tears fell as she exited the building.

When she drove off with grandma after the test, sitting in the passenger seat with her head hanging low, my heart hurt. I wanted nothing more than to console her with hugs and reassure her.

She’s 16 and adamantly refused any of my gestures preferring to be left alone with her thoughts and feelings.

When I reached out via text last night (she’s been staying with and caring for my mom post stomach surgery) to ask how she was doing, her responses indicated she was in a funk.

She felt like she did her very best on the test and that no amount of practice between now and the test retake in 2 weeks would help. She had failed at passing her driver’s test so that meant SHE was a failure.

Have you ever felt like a failure?

Yep. Me, too.

It’s hard to see past that moment of failure. It’s easy to get tunnel vision and allow the inner dialogue to put meaning on what that failure must mean.

Denis Waitley says,

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”

In part, I believe this fear of failure is accelerated once kids hit school age (at least that’s been our experience) – especially in high school. So much emphasis and pressure is placed on kids in the school environment on getting good grades, doing well on standardized tests, and getting “labeled’ based on the aforementioned “success” indicators, it’s no wonder kids today are more anxious and stressed than previous generations.

As an example, when Sophie was in Kindergarten, she came home delighted that she had earned a prize that day. It turns out, she was awarded because she had no eraser marks on her worksheet. She was recognized for NOT making mistakes, not failing. And I was livid!!!

Before I stay on this soapbox too long, I want to say this:

It’s time to reframe how we view failure. Each failure is one step closer to that success we desire for ourselves, our businesses, and our kids.

I know, easier said than done.

One of the biggest struggles/alleged failings I hear about from my private and group clients is failing at coming up with “content” to share with their clients.

—> Failing at producing enough content – it’s never-ending!!!

—> Failing at creating content that’s “good enough” to put out into the world.

—> Failing to find the time to engage create content…consistently.

I can totally relate!

There have been many times during nearly 2 decades as an entrepreneur that I felt like a failure, especially when it came to “content” creation.

Just so that we’re on the same page, “content” is anything original you create in your business and share with others.

Content Creation Examples: Brick & Mortar versus Online Business

As a performing arts studio owner, content looked like:

  • Choreography for my classes
  • Social media posts (i.e., graphics, text, video)
  • Internal guidebooks for staff, students, and parents
  • Video newsletters
  • Designing programs, sponsor relations, etc.

As a podcaster and author, content looks like:

  • Live and pre-recorded videos
  • Podcast episodes
  • Blog posts and books
  • Social media posts (i.e., graphics, text, video)
  • Speaking engagements

No matter the type of business you’re in, creating content is an essential piece of attracting and retaining clients.

And it’s time to demystify content creation – to make it simpler; to make it fun!

If you’ve ever felt like you’ve struggled to create content, failed at creating content in the past, or want to push the EASY button when it comes to creating content for YOUR business, check out the latest video training.

Don’t forget to pop your comments or questions under the video so I can get them answered for you 🙂

Remember, failing does not mean you’re a failure. And to drive this point home even further here’s a wonderful clip from one of my all-time favorite movies, Meet the Robinson’s all about celebrating failure, not getting down on ourselves.

Cheers to Failing!!!