Discomfort Zone

Want more success?
You probably need to double or triple your rate of failure.

Failure is one of those emotions most of us have learned to avoid, and there are so many ways of avoiding it.

Easy entertainment – food, drink, TV, video games, and online shopping.
Playing small – keeping your sites on things you already know how to do.

But what is the problem with failing? The word. I agree. Most of us have a long unhappy relationship with the word failure.

But everything we have ever learned was built on failure.

Around age one we are failing at walking until we are walking.
We fail at riding a bike until those training wheels come off.

Some of my clients have a hard time remembering the last time they put themselves in Failure’s way.

My teacher, Suzy Rosenstein, talks about her son learning to ride a unicycle. Right from the beginning, he was told it was going to take about 9 hours. That was what happened. For about 9 hours he was failing at riding a unicycle until he stopped failing and was actually riding it.

In my Russian language classes as a child, our teacher would read to us in September the lesson that we would be able to understand by the end of the school year in June. It was always incomprehensible and somehow 8 months or so later it was easy.

Examine failure a little more closely and you realize it is simply the state of not having reached some expected goal yet.

Any achievement is built on failures, and if you disagree it’s probably because
your goals are too small.

Even in cultures where negative outcomes need to be minimized down close to zero including medicine, manufacturing, and aeronautics failure is part of the learning process until the final results. Failure in the testing and learning process needs to be embraced and transparently studied precisely to minimize loss of life.

Coaching is the best way I know to help people fail forward. When we help our clients set an Impossible Goal we always include lots of opportunities to strategically fail.

Double your rate of failure.
Dream a bigger dream.
Keep a failure log.
Talk to young people about failure and help them understand it is not something to be ashamed of. Too many of us quit because of our thoughts about that word.

Instead of “Winning or Failing” try on “Winning or Learning,” but don’t rob yourself of the opportunity to be who you could be with some failures under your belt.

Today is a good day to enter the discomfort zone.

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