Failing or Fizzling

This week a colleague mentioned to me that her resolution to make a certain change in her business had not so much failed as fizzled out.

What a terrific distinction.

In my coaching practice I had decided to write and publish 25 blog posts in 30 days.

The first week and a half went well.
Then a hiccup but back on track.
Then a weekend away with the change in daily schedule and no daily post for 4 days.

On 2 of those days I began writing the post but failed to finish it.
Yesterday, though, i could feel the fizzle.

Fizzles sound like:
-What’s the big deal if I take a couple more days?
-What difference does it make?
-Would it really be better to write a mediocre post?

Fails, on the other hand, are so valuable. There is so much to learn in a fail. We have a goal or a plan and we set out to make it happen, but we don’t always make failure part of our plan? In coaching we have an expression “worthy fails.”

A worthy fail is when you fail in the process of actively pursuing your goal.

-You write the blog post and publish it, but the formatting doesn’t work and the page is filled with random letters.
-You begin writing your post but deliberately choose to stop and use that time for something else.
-The blog post is published but 2000 people comment that you are a terrible writer and you don’t know what you are talking about.
-The post is written but you ask someone to proof it and they don’t get back to you in time to get the post up.
-The computer crashes or the internet goes out or there is an electrical blackout that keeps you from publishing the post.

All worthy fails.
They are system errors. I showed up and I performed and something didn’t work out, but it helps me understand and appreciate the process so that I am better prepared, more fully educated and can revise my methods.

Fizzles teach us nothing. A fizzle is failure in advance in the name of avoiding failure.

-Ugh I only have an hour before my next appointment so there is no way I can finish a post in less than an hour.
-The house is crazy, the minute I start writing I will just be interrupted.
-Nobody even reads these blogs and nobody knows I even made this 25 post goal.
-I didn’t post for 4 days and no one missed it.

All fizzles.

Any goal or project worth taking on will encompass failure.

If you have a goal or a project or a resolution, consider counting up your fails with as much satisfaction and pride as your wins. Fails are proof that you are doing something and growing. Be very aware of the fizzle, as you take on new and uncomfortable projects. Fails are often public so they can seem more uncomfortable. Fizzles are often very private and internal and we may think they aren’t as bad, but they are so destructive to our relationship with ourselves.

Failure does not mean anything has gone wrong, and as my coach Brooke Castillo says, “If you aren’t failing then your goals aren’t big enough.”

Where have you been avoiding failure by tolerating the fizzle of your goals?

Coaching is the best way I know to help support big goals and small ones. When we start to congratulate ourselves for our fails and just keep showing up, we are on the way to more than the result we are after. We are on the way to being our full selves.

This week notice the distinction between failing and fizzling.

Today’s post may have failed, but to all you G.O.T fans:

What do we say to the Lord of Fizzle?
Not today.

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