Smart, interesting and insightful people populate my world (like all of you). You are full of opinions and share them generously. I am grateful.
Last week, one of those smart, interesting and insightful people generously shared this challenge about growing corn in Minnesota (if you missed it, read last week’s newsletter here for context):
“Ok so I am on board with the ‘larger message’ but I think there is a lot of value in asking, Coach Boyd-Smith, what happens when you do just that, set that intention, stretch, leap, live large - and there is no promotion, no baby materializes, the big job is really big and wrangling it may be doable but is all consuming … the corn grows but never produces something to eat. That’s the piece that I think is the true nut to crack … “
So let's crack - or at least fracture - the nut about what happens when things don’t work out. (Do I dare use the “F” word? Failure. Eeek! She said it.)
The rebelicious live large, take risks, operate from your truest, authentic self. When you are out there on the edge, failure is inevitable. In fact, welcome, encourage, and embrace it. Failure is your most efficient teacher.
And most of you are terrified just reading the word failure on this page.
Let’s crack that nut.
Here are three things to do when (notice it's not "if") you fail:
- Be with your emotions: Failure doesn’t stall many successful entrepreneurs and business people. Good for them. For the rest of us, it hurts. Grieve. Be pissed. Be despondent. Do this without blame – for yourself and others. Move through the emotion so you can move past it.
Client story! Peter (not his real name) took a big financial risk on a company that kinda screwed him. He was disappointed and shaken. His first step is to acknowledge and be with the hurt and betrayal so he can move on to the next opportunity with a clear head and clean energy.
- Mine the learning: Once you’ve moved through the emotion, failure is chock full of learning. When the job is “big and wrangling and all consuming” – that’s a time to look at your priorities. Maybe your life balance is more important than the job. Maybe you want to give your all to the challenge. Maybe being a VP isn't all it was cracked up to be. There's a practical or life lesson in failure. Find it.
- Choose: These big life moments can set you on a completely different path. You are not a victim of these moments. You get to choose what you do with your path. When the business doesn’t work out or the baby doesn’t materialize, choose what you want next. You might choose to give the job a year. Or to look for something less overwhelming. You might decide being a parent is your #1 priority and open your possibilities. Or not. Each journey is different. And the choice is yours.
Client story! Alia's day job didn’t turn into the innovative, leadership role she had hoped. So instead, she followed a passion into volunteer work outside the office which turned into huge leadership growth, a significant contribution to her city, and a role that made her deeply happy and satisfied.
You aren't in this life to play it safe. You are here to live! To thrive! To contribute! And the big F word will show up on that path. Welcome it. Use it. And choose.
I hope this helps.
P.S. If you or someone you know could use some support, grab a free session on my calendar here.