The Power of Embracing Failure

This is the seventh in a series of blogs that I’m posting in response to a challenge posed by Winnie Kao, a blogger who launched “Your Turn Project,” which urges wayward bloggers like me to post a blog every day for a week.

The question for this final blog in the series is: “What are you taking with you from this challenge?”

The big takeaway for me is learning to accept failure. I was on time for the first two postings but I was late for every other posting thereafter, including this one. I had failed. Repeatedly.

After my first failure to post a blog, I was tempted to pack it in, particularly since the catalyst for this challenge, Seth Godin, author of Your Turn and many other bestselling books, had said to Winnie, “Every day that you don’t put up a blog post, you’ve failed.”

I’ve always seen failure as something terminal and lethal. How can you continue if you’ve failed? But after participating in the “Your Turn Project,” I discovered (not for the first time but such life lessons require continual repetition and reinforcement) that it isn’t fatal. Quite the opposite.

I screwed up, I forgave myself, I figured that it was better to post late than not at all and so I did. As Seth has said, “after you fail you will be one step closer to succeeding, you will be wiser and stronger and you almost certainly will be more respected by all of those that are afraid to try.”

He’s right and I would not have recognized that if I hadn’t stayed in the game. I may have failed to meet the terms of the challenge, but over a one-week period, I wrote over 3,000 words or seven reasonably useful blog posts that would not have existed otherwise. I feel good about that. I feel motivated to accept other challenges, to take more risks, and to continue to thwart those inner barriers that keep me from shipping as often as I’d like.

A big thank you to Winnie and to Seth.

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