I’ve been through a few ‘learning’ experiences recently. Things have happened that weren’t what I planned. Some of this was disappointing (for example deciding to cancel a workshop) but I haven’t lost faith.
I reflected on the experiences and looked at what went wrong, where it went wrong and when. I also asked myself what I could do differently going forwards. I believe in the saying ‘feedback not failure’. My projects didn’t fail; I learned a lot and that’s enabled me to create better processes for future. The outcome wasn’t what I expected (or wanted) but the experience has helped my personal development as I picked up new technical skills. I know I am capable of facing challenges and this has improved my confidence.
When we take an attitude of learning and curiosity rather than fear we can achieve so much. If we fear ‘failure’ then we may never start. Fear puts us at a disadvantage as it limits our thinking. We worry about what could go wrong, what other people are thinking. This puts us in a less resourceful state.
In her book ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’, Susan Jeffers introduces the empowering idea of a ‘no-lose model’.
“There really is nothing to lose, only something to gain, whatever the choices you make or actions you take in life’.
My 10 tips to get going
- There is no perfect time to start something, the best time is now.
- It is better to start and ‘fail’ than fail to start
- Let go of expectation. Do your best and see what happens. When we invest our emotions heavily into a project it can be devastating when things don’t go to plan.
- Think about what could go wrong and then consider ways of reducing the impact or the likelihood of these things going wrong.
- Think about what could go right!
- If something hasn’t gone to plan, don’t take it personally. Step back and look at the situation objectively. What actually went wrong? What have you learned? What could you try instead?
- Fear and excitement often elicit the same bodily sensations (raised heart rate, butterflies in the tummy) the difference is how we interpret them.
- Talk to the right people about your projects. Sometimes close family and friends encourage you to be cautious because they are concerned for your welfare. Surround yourself with people who will support you but also know when to challenge you.
- Adopt the attitude of failing forwards. Every time you fail at something you are getting nearer your goal.
- Impossible = I’m Possible.
Remember, successful people are fearful at the start of something new – the difference is they continue despite fear, they are not held back by it.
As Susan says, ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway!’