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There’s no doubt that failing can be hard. No one likes to fail. You all look forward to being successful. But failing is the key to our success.

My favorite example to demonstrate what I mean is Babe Ruth. Most of us know Babe Ruth as the person who got the most home runs. I want to present you with these statistics.

Did you know that throughout his baseball career, Ruth hit 714 home runs and struck out 1,330 times.

So you see, that’s a 65% failure rate! And that’s just during the official games! Can you imagine allowing yourself to fail at 65% of the things you try at work when you are front and center with your customers?

Most of us would say no. However, what if we did?

What if we were so unafraid of failing that we actively tried new things on a regular basis to see if they worked?

  • What if we decided to speak at every meeting and ask a question at every opportunity to practice improving communication?
  • What if we didn’t wait for things to be perfect before we let other people see and react to it?
  • What if we decided to try more often?
  • What if we sent the email even if we didn’t have all the answers yet?
  • What if we made the commitment even if we weren’t totally sure how to achieve it?
  • What if we shared our opinion?
  • What if we decided to try that hobby we’ve always wanted to try?

Yes, you would “fail” more often. And with every single failure, you would learn.

I’ve learned to embrace failure and I do a lot more!

I experience failure regularly. I write a lot of content. And it often contains typographical errors. I often ask bad questions. I cook meals that don’t come out very well. I forget appointments or show up late. I sing in a chorus and hit wrong notes. I tinker on the piano sometimes, and I make a lot of mistakes. I say stupid things. I express an unpopular opinion and get odd looks. I ask questions and then realize it was just talked about but I wasn’t paying attention. I wear mismatched clothes. I fall off, sometimes, when I’m riding horses. I pick myself apart for all the things I’m not getting done, or the things that could improve.

But what do other people notice?

Recently, I had a conversation with some friends and colleagues about things I do. I work a full-time job. I ride horses once a week. I write this weekly blog for you. I am a career coach, I cook, I recently sang in a choral performance, I play music, I take care of my dogs(2) cats(2), and chickens(7), I help my family as my parents age, and I like to sew, crochet, and read.

The conversation turned into people joking about my “many talents,” “is there anything you can’t do?” and “I don’t know how you do it all!”.

Look you guys – I don’t have many talents. I definitely can’t do it all. There are a LOT of things I cannot do. There are many things I don’t want to do.

I’ve learned not to be afraid of failing, and I like to learn new things, and it’s the things I do that other people notice.

That’s enough talking about me. What about you?

  • Are there things you want to try but you are not doing because you are afraid to fail?
  • Are there things you wanted to speak out about but you didn’t because you were afraid of what someone else would think of you?
  • Are there things you want to learn but you don’t because you’ll be bad at it.
  • Are there items you decide to to volunteer for because you think you don’t know how?

What if you did those things, failed at them, learned from those failures and then tried again?

What would people remember most?

Ellen

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