You know what? I’m tired of talking about failure.
I’ve spent most of this month thinking about how to move on, to learn, to grow from setbacks – and that attitude hasn’t been helpful at all. Sure, I’m learning and growing, but I’d be really worried if I weren’t.
What we learn from our experiences is largely tied to how we treat them, both in the moment, and in hindsight.
We have this awful tendency to vilify the things that enact our setbacks, or to make golden the things that appear to have helped us succeed. Is this productive? Probably not, unless we live by way of avoidance – and that’s not productive. No matter how attached we are to praise, or unconcerned with whether people think we’re snobs online or not – retroactive adjustment is usually a bad idea.
Productivity – rather than just activity – is far more interesting, and far less tied to dedicated learn-by-failure kinds of work than one might expect.
I’ve been thinking about theory a lot lately. Applying theory to practice, adjusting our theories to match our work… These are all good things. But one of the things theory allows us to do – if we have a strong grasp of it anyway – is to conduct some analysis on our failures, and the failures of others…
But there we go again!
We need to shift our verbiage – instead of talking about our liabilities, let’s talk about our deliverables. Same thing, far different meaning. Instead of crossing things off your to-do list, highlight them – same action, entirely different mental trigger (and thank Susan Hurrell for that one).
It isn’t just how we react to our opportunities for improvement that impacts how we improve; it’s also how we react to our opportunities to show our strength, and opportunities to analyse whether it’s strength or improvement we’ve got.
Stop mitigating your weaknesses, and start bolstering your strengths.