Since school started this Fall, I have had a renewed focus on the best ways to encourage my children to do her best (in school, at sports, with music, you name it). Certainly over the years I’ve read many books, blogs, articles, etc. on methods of motivation, but just last week it suddenly dawned on me, why am I not applying the same lessons I try to teach my clients to my own children? Failing every now and then is the only way to find real success.
My 6-year-old daughter in particular has many of my same traits of perfectionism. She wants to be good at everything the first time she tries it, and if she’s not, she gets frustrated. As an adult, I’ve learned to hone those feelings of frustration into dogmatic determination, but I’ve also learned that I don’t have to be good at everything, and sometimes failing helps me to better focus on those areas at which I am great.
I am the first one to want to research the situation, find out what the facts are, and how people feel. Then, you have to take that information and let it support going out on a limb. Many companies and nonprofits feel the need to respond to research point for point, instead of using it as a tool to push creative and original ideas. Groundbreaking and disruptive change never comes from tweaking old ideas, but instead using previous successes to inform new ideas. Everyone must realize every idea is not going to be a win, not every idea is going to be an innovation, and even if an idea is not successful, it’s never really a failure because there is always something to be learned.
I applaud the Harvard Business Review for their blog post regarding this exact topic. Especially as we are molding tomorrow’s thought leaders and currently trying to make a difference in our own world, let’s all try not to be afraid of being human, of making mistakes and learning from them so that we can create something amazing.