Last month, I saw the amazing Sara Blakely of Spanx speak and there’s one thing she said that *really* stuck with me.
She told us a story about how every night at her dinner table, her father would ask her and her brother the following question:
“What did you fail at today?”
Seems a bit strange, right? Well I certainly thought so. And yet, this was a daily practice in her home when she was growing up. In fact, her dad took this ritual so seriously that he would be upset if she didn’t have anything to share.
What a refreshing way to reframe failure. Here are some ways to reevaluate failure and the role it plays in your life.
1. Aim to fail. Instead of it being something to avoid, failure suddenly is something to aspire to.If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. When we fail at something, it means that we took a risk, we challenged ourselves, we put ourselves in a situation that gave us the opportunity to grow. Failure isn’t bad – it’s part of the journey.
2. Reflect on past moments of “failure.” Think about the times when you feel like you “failed.” What really happened in those moments? Is it that you simply didn’t get what you wanted? If that’s the case, did you keep working on getting it or did you choose to give up?
3. Your words create your reality. See that’s the thing that I don’t think a lot of us get. Calling something a failure is a choice. And it’s your choice. You shape your life by the words you use to describe it. If you call something a lesson, it becomes one. If you say it’s a failure, it becomes that too.
4. Step outside your comfort zone. When Sara’s dad asked her every night, “What did you fail at today?” I think what he was really saying was “How did you challenge yourself today? What did you do today to push your limits and step out of your comfort zone?” If you want to grow, if you want to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve in your business, you MUST be prepared for disappointments and upsets. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows and butterflies. And that’s okay. Those rainbow moments wouldn’t be as special if we didn’t have the disappointments as well.
5. Replace fail with grow. I want you to try something. For the next week, eliminate the word “fail” from your vocabulary. Instead, replace it with “grow.” Every time you want to call something a failure, call it a moment of growth. The same thing will have happened, but the experience will transform for you because you will begin to see it as part of your progress, as opposed to a backwards step.