“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
–Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
The power of failing
“I made a mistake.” What a horrible thought. We don’t want to be wrong. It feels bad.
Making a mistake–creating a failure at work–is something that will certainly come up again during the annual review. Maybe cost us a raise, or worse, get us fired.
Fail your way to success
Making mistakes is my favorite aspect of owning my own business. Why? Because I am responsible for both my mistake and for the reward of coming up with the solution of fixing it. It’s not a political event. I don’t have to spin it for my boss and no one else can use it for his or her agenda. Being alone with my mistake means I get to witness the result, find the cause, work through the process of repair and reflect on what needs to be learned in a calm environment without fear.
Making a mistake gives me an opportunity to make a change that I may not have thought of without a failure to think over.
Experience has a root called ‘mistake’
There is danger lurking in avoiding mistakes. If every step is a sure step, one that takes us at a predictable pace to a known place, we can be sure of the destination and the scenery along the way. We know when we will arrive. It works, but it teaches us nothing.
Endless repetition of a previous success gives us the same predictable result. But there is no new growth, no learning, no experience gained that can broaden our scope and renew our effort. Before you continue on that road, give your creativity a kiss goodbye. It’s choosing to jump the hedge and run with the wild folk or climb a tree, leaving you to plod along. Don’t spend to much time in regret. Go chasing after your creativity, revel in each mistake, and come back laden with learned treasures.
–Quinn McDonald is the owner of QuinnCreative. She teaches writing and dealing with change to individuals and businesses. (c) All rights reserved. 2007-9.