Friday, June 26, 2020

Fail Big

The most profound thing for me to say about failure comes from gaming. Big surprise, I know. It's from an old guild leader. He said: 

If you ain't dyin', you ain't tryin' 


Good advice in a situation where there are only pixels on the line, I suppose. But honestly, after the 12th wipe of a raid when you're trying to get everything just right, having the permission to relax into the ridiculousness of what you're attempting to accomplish changes EVERYTHING.

Any failure that is nonfatal is a chance to learn and grow. According to Carol Dweck (check out her book Mindset) how we view failure has a profound impact on whether we do succeed or fail over the course of life, love, and business. Those of us with a Fixed mindset are afraid of failure because we're certain it shows up our short-comings. Those of us with a Growth mindset might not relish failure, but we embrace it as an opportunity to learn something new. Not surprisingly a Growth mindset sets us up with far greater odds for success over time. And the good news is that you can change your mindset. It's in the book. I'm not rewriting it here. 

So maybe don't go looking for failure in say, cave diving, or free climbing El Capitan just yet. Scale the fail. Where physical safety isn't on the line, dare to fail big. The risk should be just enough to give you a little anxiety but not quite enough to keep you up nights. Not many, anyway. You're learning stuff. You need your sleep.