Knowledge Bomb: Failure


August 20, 2018

The fear of failure takes many shapes in business owners, freelancers, and creatives. 

For some, it looks like a handful of opportunities passed by. For others, it looks like endless tweaking and refining – never sharing – because, what will people say? 

Working from fear is a dangerous game that handicaps our greatest skills and talents. It’s also damn hard to conquer on your own. 

Because this is such a shared experience among SOCO members – and because many members have hard-won lessons from fighting this for years – we gathered folks together in August to chat through ways to put fear back in its place. 

Everyone falls short 

We kicked off the session by leveling the playing field. Folks were honest and we learned that, from lost business partners to pissed clients, everyone has had notable failures. 

Good habits make failures feel epic

As we were talking through our recent mistakes, one member pointed out that the ups and downs people shared were normal. 

Why, then, did they stick with each member as mega-failures? 

Turns out, our desire to do things well intensifies how we perceive failure. We know what extraordinary looks like, so even ordinary or okay smacks of failure. 

We don’t like it, but failure is an efficient teacher

There’s a lot to learn from our mistakes. Especially if we are willing to hear them out. 

Members have learned, among other things:

  • To work for themselves
  • How to schedule more effectively 
  • How to own mistakes and make every effort to rectify them
  • Double-check inputs on the command line

We’ve also received some pretty big benefits at the hand of failure:

Moving from fear to freedom

Despite the many, many things we can learn from failing, we still fear doing so. When we fixate on failure, members say we suffer handicaps like:

  • Holding back on new projects, based on past reviews
  • Stagnation and immobility
  • No room for growth
  • Missing out on new experiences, places, and people

There’s another option, though. Instead of marinating in fear of failure, we can boldly approach our mistakes, learn from them, and move on wiser.

Here’s how members do this:

Take one big step this month 

Before we closed out the session, we asked members what one thing they would do if they weren’t afraid. The answers were inspiring. Members said they’d do things like publish a book, travel to cool locations, and change jobs. 

What about you? What one specific thing would you do if you weren’t afraid of failing? 

Don’t go at it alone

Each month, we host a group chat in Slack about a pressing topic in on our community. These chats are called Slack Sessions and they’re open to all paying members. 

Already a member? Join the #Slack_Sessions channel to stay up to date on upcoming chats.

Not yet a member? Schedule a free tour to check out our spaces. We’d love to show you around and introduce you to a few of SOCO’s rockstars. 

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