Do you feel like your writing career is filled with mistakes? Failures? Problems?
That means you’re putting yourself out there, trying new things, and moving in a positive direction in your writing career.
If you’re not doing any of the above…start right now!
Why, you ask, in horror?
Because having a pile of failures next to your name means you’re getting out there and doing things in your author business.
If you talk to the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, they’ll all tell you stories of the times they failed, the businesses that didn’t quite go as expected, and the problems they had to overcome.
And that’s okay, because learning how to fail is integral to succeeding.
It teaches us resilience, determination, and persistence. It shows us that we’re human, and that it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as we keep going.
On the flip side, if you aren’t doing anything, you won’t fail.
Which would you prefer?
Failure is the chance to learn and grow – it’s not the end, it’s the beginning and an opportunity to evolve and improve your publishing / writing.
Failure helps you conquer Fear Of Future Failure – from Psychology Today article ” Fear of failure is the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral reaction to the negative consequences you anticipate for failing to achieve a goal. It is the intense worry, the negative thinking, and the reluctance to take action you experience, when you imagine all the horrible things that could happen if you failed to achieve a goal.”
The Podcast “How To Fail” by Elizabeth Day features interviews with people about their failures and has written a book of the same name. She talks about failure as a key to success. Day’s advice is to remember that we all fail which is obvious and comforting! “We are all going to fail in our life, that’s a fact. You might as well build up emotional resilience and you might as well confront failure so that the next time it happens, because it will happen, you feel better equipped, stronger and you can learn more from it.” ~ https://www.stylist.co.uk/life/tips-on-how-to-cope-with-failure-elizabeth-day-memoir-how-to-fail/259440
It builds emotional resilience – important for writers!
You learn more from what doesn’t work than what does
If you’re not experiencing failure as you go along, then you’re not trying hard enough! You’re not doing enough! Failure is how we all learn and grow.
If you’re doing everything in such a controlled, structured way that you never fail, you’re never going to grow. You’re never going to get better. You’re never going to achieve everything you could be achieving.
If we’re scared of failure, it’s often that we’re worried about what people might think or what they might say about us. Or even what we might say about ourselves. But when it comes down to it, what is failure?
Dictionary.com definition: nonperformance of something due, required, or expected.
So by that definition it’s not doing something that was required. So if we were to fail, it’s that we’re doing things, and we’re trying new things and we’re learning new things.
So which option do you think gives us the most growth, and the most opportunity for success?
Darren Hardy – It’s like building a muscle, right? The key to growth is massive repeated failure.
Like is like a pendulum, on one side is pain, rejection, failure and sadness, and on the other is love, joy, happiness and success. If you stay in the middle, you won’t experience pain, rejection and sadness, but you won’t enjoy love, joy and success either.
Push your pendulum into pain, rejection, failure and sadness and it will rock you back into the other side.
If I go a whole month without failing, I’m mad at myself. Because I’m not pushing myself enough. I want to be more successful, and I need to be putting myself out there more.
The only thing stopping you from reaching your potential is that you haven’t turned fear into fun.
Brooke Castillo says similar – if you’re not taking massive action, doing as much as you can to move yourself forward, and this will definitely include failures, then you’re not going to be as successful as you want.
Also, need to change how you think about failure. If you see it as the big bad thing that you have to avoid at all costs, then you’ll do everything to avoid it. But if you see it as a part of what you need to do, and it’s just another step in the ladder, then you will take the negative emotions out of it, and allow yourself to grow and change.
“There’s not a lot of consideration as to why. I have a lot of people say to me, “I have a real fear of failure,” and I’ll say “Well, what does that mean? What are you afraid of? What is failure? Why are you afraid of it?” They’ll think about it and come back and say “You know what? I’ve never really thought about it that way.””
Definition of Failure from Google:
“The omission of expected or required action.” The omission of expected or required action. I love this definition of failure. If failure means we just didn’t do our own expected action or something else didn’t do our expected action, it just seems so benign. It seems so “Okay. Well that’s what happened. There was an omission of action on either my part or your part.” That’s what we’re called failure? Well, that’s not a big deal, right? It’s just something didn’t turn out the way we had expected.”
“If failure is really just not meeting your own expectation or not taking the
required action to meet your own expectation, then really what’s going to
happen when that happens, is you are going to think some thought that’s
going to create some negative emotion.”
So what that means is that failure is in your head. You are the one making yourself feel bad. You are the one making it mean something that you don’t like. So you need to turn it around. Make failure mean something else. Give yourself failure goals. If you don’t fail at least once a week, you’re not doing it right. When you fail, you can be happy about it, because you’ve just met your fail quota!
Brooke on being a perfectionist:
“A lot of people will say to me that they’re perfectionists, and they’ll say that “I just want to do it all right, and I’m not willing to do it if I can’t do it perfectly.” I have this sense that I think perfectionism is for scared people. I think it gives them an excuse to not take the action, to not put themselves out there and to not fail, to not meet their own expectation.
The reason why they don’t want to not meet their own expectation is
because they know that they’re going to beat their own ass when that
happens. They’re going to beat themselves up. If you were to make a deal
with yourself and say “Hey. I’m going to go out there and try and do this.
There’s going to be, for sure, a chance that along the way I’m not going to
meet my expectation. I’m going to fail, and I’m going to fail many, many
times, but here’s there thing. When I fail, I’m going to have my own back.
I’m going to treat myself with respect. I’m going to honour myself. I’m going
to use that as an opportunity to learn and to take care of myself. I’m going
to use it as an opportunity to love myself more instead of loving myself less.
I will refuse when I don’t meet my own expectation, to say mean things to
myself, to beat myself up, or to quit.”
Go out and do something you think might have a chance of failing. If it fails, no big deal. But it might succeed.
We have to learn how to fail, just like little kids learn to walk. And it’s the process of them falling, and then picking themselves up, that makes them strong enough to eventually walk.
If you don’t make failure a bad thing, if you think, I’m going to be okay with myself if I don’t achieve what I’m setting out to achieve, then you’re more likely to start, to try. If you’re worried about how you’re going to feel, then you’re not going to do it.
Practice failure. It should be a skill that you have in your tool box. How to successfully fail, so that you can move on without making it mean something terrible and bad.
Thomas Edison quote: “No. I didn’t fail a thousand times. I learned a thousand things that didn’t work.”
Barbara Corcoran TedX Speech on REthinking Failure – “I have found that failure and innovation are kissing cousins. If you work on one, you automatically get the other.”