What is failure? We all know part of that answer, don’t we?
Failure is missing a three-point conversion play in the final two minutes of the football game.
Failure is losing a boat-load of money in abusiness deal gone bad
Failure is a thousand other actions that do not bring the desired results.
But none of them are worthy of shame.
~I have a weak heart that requires surgery to repair. Am I to be shamed for this?
~President Trump hasn’t been successful in getting a lot of his promises in play after ten months as President. Should he be shamed for that?
~The Seahawks lost a close game yesterday? I know, let’s shame them and call them bad names and curse them, even burn the 12-man flag. That will teach them.
Failure happens. We sometimes lose. We don’t hit our sales quota, we miss a sale to that eager buyer, we misunderstand our spouse in a critical relational moment. Our bodies quit responding. We fail. We are not to be shamed for it. It happens.
On the other side of these failures? A learning moment. What is the takeaway. What can we do better the next time around?
Ah … that is the piece we need to understand.
Maybe, as Seth Godin says, “failure is required. Failure in the service of learning, of experimenting, of making things – this is essential.”
Can you imagine shaming a six-month-old baby we are pushing to learn to walk? No way. It happens. They fall down, we pick them back up.
I think my point is made now.
Final thought – be kind to yourself in this shaming issue as well. You are not a superman or woman. You will have off days, weak moments, and sometimes our bodies just don’t work as we wish. The negative self-talk actually stops growth, it stops finding the good and right solutions. Allow yourself a moment of grace, a moment of growth, and your body a moment of whatever it needs.
Maybe I failed. So what. I am not a failure.
P Michael Biggs