Episode 070: Failure Is Not a 4-Letter Word

Failure can be a catalyst for success if you handle it well.  On this episode we explore 3 ways to use failure as a springboard to success.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

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On This Episode

Rhythm of Life – An Unexpected Surprise
Random Riffs – Don’t Jump on Your Bed
Feature Segment – Failure Isn’t a 4-Letter Word

Rhythm of Life –  An Unexpected Surprise

We recently celebrated the USA’s 241st birthday.  I went to the annual 4th of July Boombox Parade in Willimantic, CT.  Here’s a link to information about the parade.

I was with my friend Elizabeth and her husband thoroughly enjoying myself, when another friend’s husband came to ask us for a favor.  Listen to the episode to hear what happened.

Unexpected surprises are sometimes the best.  Especially when we’re ready to receive them.

Random Riffs – Don’t Jump on Your Bed

According to an Associated Press article, a stuffed cow saved the life of a 2-year-old boy who fell out of a second-story window.  But this wasn’t just any fall.  No, it was a very unusual, and pretty entertaining, story.

The story reminded me of the things our mothers always told us not to do.  Some of them never came true.  And now, this one has.

Feature Segment – Failure Isn’t a 4-Letter Word

In Episode 069, I told you about a book called “Yes, And”, which explains how Improv. Techniques can boost creativity, collaboration, and communication.  In that episode I talked about 3 of the most important, and how to use them.  Failure was one of those techniques.  On today’s episode, we’re looking at how we can use failure as a springboard to success.

Adam Grant, in his book Originals, cites people who were considered prolific creators.  He says that the more work one does, the higher the likelihood of a hit.

How do these Originals keep going in the face of failure?  How can we?  If failure isn’t a 4-letter word, why does it feel that way?

There are three ways to use failure as a springboard to success.

Early and Often

Adam Grant says when people are coming up with ideas, the more the better.  In fact, more than 200 almost guarantees there’s a good one on the list.

Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg talks about generating good ideas by reframing the problem in this article.

Free of Judgement

You have to be free to take risks – to fail – in order to succeed.  One way to feel that freedom is when everyone postpones judgement until the idea is more fully baked.

It also helps if you don’t try to dictate the solution.  That’s a type of judgement in advance.

Then there’s self-judgement -perfectionism.  Forget it.  Perfection will never happen.  So hold off judgement until you’re farther down the path.  Then evaluate like crazy and eliminate what doesn’t work.

Fail With Confidence

This is when you can bounce back quickly because you’re confident that your approach, talent, skill, experience will carry you through.  When you work hard, you know it will eventually pay off.

How to develop that confidence?

  1. Celebrate and keep a record of successes.
  2. Reverse-engineer prior successes.
  3. Diverse ensemble.
  4. Practice positivity.

It boils down to faith – in the process.  The team.  Yourself.

Do you have a situation right now where you could apply these principles?  Share in the comments.

  1. How can you fail early so you can succeed later?
  2. How can you withhold judgement? Are there people you want to keep away from the process until it is more fully-baked?  Is that someone perhaps you?  How can you avoid judging yourself?
  3. What can you do to gain confidence now – even before you need it? What one approach will you use?

The best way to learn is to put it into practice.  Take action right away.  You don’t have to do it alone.  If want some help and encouragement, send an email to kathleen@kathleenannthompson.com or share with a friend.

One way to find your groove?  Use failure as a springboard to success.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.