Embrace Failure on the Path to Growth


{This guest post is written by Sandy Connery. Sandy is the Founder of Connectable.biz, software for networking groups to share leads online. She is also co-founder of Namastream and Soulful.MBA and helps entrepreneurs create businesses from a place of integrity and authenticity.}


When a toddler first starts to walk, she stumbles and falls. Her family members cheer and clap and encourage the little one to try again. The toddler takes another few steps, falls again and the room erupts in words of gentle encouragement. Eventually, that toddler succeeds in taking her first few steps and the event is celebrated and maybe even captured on video to share and remember.

When does this attitude of celebrating failure disappear?

There are many things we admire others for doing, yet we’re too afraid to try ourselves. Perhaps it’s stepping up to give a presentation at a conference, or asking to take on a bigger project, or even going for that job that seems out of our reach.

(If you dream of applying for that coveted position, but you never try, haven’t you already failed?)

A toddler learning to walk is much like a brand new project manager. They’re both attempting a new and exciting skill. They’re both nervous, excited, and want desperately to succeed.

But the toddler has a cheering and encouraging audience and no concept that failure is an undesirable thing. Her entire family is clapping for each fall. And in fact, the toddler can’t succeed without failing first. Some tumbles are required to figure out this gravity thing!

The aspiring project manager, on the other hand, often has no cheering audience. She is achingly aware of each misstep. The pressure for perfection and instant success is enormous. But just like the toddler, she must also tumble a few times.
Is this you?
Are you so worried about failing that you’re paralyzed from taking action on your dream?

Is it easier if we replaced the word ‘failure’ with the word ‘learning’? If we said your career is full of ‘learning’, would you launch that dream career, full of excitement for the lessons you’re about to learn?

What if we described your career as a pathway? And sometimes the pathway takes sudden and unexpected turns. Those turns may be frustrating and perhaps shocking but you know you’ll be better off for them. Would you step out onto that pathway and say “Let’s go! Let’s do this!”?

Don’t be afraid of failure.

Let’s rewrite the narrative around failing.

Failure is necessary.

Failure is how we learn, grow, and evolve.

Failure teaches us a better way.

Failure is a gift.

Let’s choose to see the beauty in failing.
Step out of your comfort zone. Stretch your boundaries. Celebrate your failures. Impact the world.


This post originally appeared on Namastream.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like this post on following your dreams.

Photo credit: Dermot O’Halloran via VisualHunt.com / CC BY



Leave a Reply