Failures, Learning from Failures and Fear of Failure are dearest topics of discussion ranging from psychologists to managers to leaders to coaches. While at B School, we had explored this topic to its breadth and depth in personal and leadership courses. While browsing through some old notes, came across few takeaway notes I thought will be useful to all.
Procrastination and Motivation
While these two topics may sound extremes, they are interconnected. As we know more procrastination means more ways to get de-motivated. While it may sound a cliché; setting your goals is of utmost importance. It’s not just enough to set a goal, it needs to be thoughtful and measureable (read SMART goals :)). It’s always a good idea to discuss the goal you want to achieve with another person – be it your friend, family member or colleague. The discussion helps you to go deep into the nature of goal you want to achieve, fine tune possible pathways and hindrances. Keep these points in mind while you narrow down your goal
- What is it that you are trying to achieve?
- Why and how important is it to you?
- How do you think you can achieve the goal. Remember to use action verbs throughout these exercises!
- Why do you think you may not be able to achieve the goal? Find 11 reasons poking yourselves why you fear achieving a goal is difficult. If you are not able to find the reasons, it means either your fear is uncalled for or you are just being in your comfort zone.
Importance of Resilience
In order for us to achieve the set goal successfully, it is important to keep trying judiciously. Now comes the importance of resilience; resilience in old days meant that you get back to whatever you are supposed to as quickly and fervently as possible. But modern research says resilience is trying really hard, then stopping, recovering, and then trying again.The pause to recover from setbacks is the key learning. Small set-backs can dig you into an encircling downward spiral of pessimism. The situation becomes worse when coupled with laziness. This HBR article discusses in detail how you can build resilience.
Learning from Failures
Finally, it’s also important to learn from failures and move on. Whether it’s a personal failure or a team failure – blame game starts to flow in. In the case of personal settings, it is important not to get into an over-criticize mode. Try to analyze from heart what could be the reason for failure – was it a mistake, was it due to a gap in skills or circumstantial? Depending on what you think the reason is, we can take corrective actions. Trying to understand the reason enthusiastically rather than with a lackluster attitude is keen to succeed in future. Obsessing again and again on the failure will drastically affect you; indeed take a third person approach. You takeaways must be the positive learning that you put into work in your next attempt.
“You have control over three things: what you think, what you say, and what you behave” — Sonia Friedman