SOME THINGS I'VE LEARNED ABOUT FAILING (AND WHY YOU WANT TO FAIL!)
Hey there Abundant musician,
If you've clicked here today, it's likely you've experienced times in your life when you've "failed" at a task, an idea or a venture. Perhaps you're in the middle of failing at something right now?
There's not much thats worse than feeling like you've poured your heart and soul into something, only to watch it crash down around you leaving you with only broken pieces of your once brilliant idea.
Perhaps that sounds a little too dramatic? Or maybe not dramatic enough?!
Whatever your reason is for reading this today, I want you to know that I know how you're feeling.
I'VE FAILED SO MANY TIMES AT THINGS I'VE LOST COUNT, AND I WANT TO TELL YOU TODAY WHY I BELIEVE FAILING CAN ACTUALLY BE A POSITIVE STEP IN YOUR JOURNEY TOWARD ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS!
If you're worried that by failing you're not cut out for this entrepreneur thing, I have one thing to tell you - that's so not true!
If you've ever taught a young student how to play a musical instrument, you already know what I'm talking about when I say that failing = progress.
How do students get better at their craft? They practice.
AND AT ITS CORE, WHAT IS PRACTICE? IT'S FAILING OVER AND OVER AGAIN AT SOMETHING UNTIL YOU NO LONGER FAIL ANY MORE!
We all worry about this idea of failing, when really what we should be thinking about is learning. No matter what your craft, or purpose or venture is, if you've never done something before, you're learning how to do it! And you're going to be learning... until you aren't.
I was listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's book (audiobook) "Big Magic" yesterday and she put this idea beautifully:
“Remember that you're nothing but a beginner - even if you've been working on your craft for fifty years. We are all just beginners here, and we shall all die beginners. So let it go." - Elizabeth Gilbert
Here, have an inspirational picture to help you remember this!
I didn't jump on Evernote to write this blog post today and just succeed at it straight away. The first time I used Evernote I was super confused! Feel free to laugh.
I'M OK WITH THE FACT THAT I HAVE THE NATURAL TECHNOLOGICAL ABILITY OF A THUMB.
I failed miserably at my first website, and the first YouTube video I created took me at least 3 days to finish and upload.
I work at it though, and now I can write and upload a blog in a matter of minutes, can do a bunch of things related to website design and content (hello getting WAY too excited about squarespace updates!), and can even link everything together to be beautiful and easy to share.
Through failing at these things the first, second or third (seventh) time, I have been able to grow and get better and better at each task.
It's the same thing in practice rooms, right?!
THE FIRST TIME YOU PLAYED A NOTE, WAS IT PERFECT? WAS IT THE WAY YOU PLAY IT NOW?
Likely not. In the practice room, we fail all the time. I fail hundreds of times each session!
The way I see it, failing at something can lead us to discovering the right way to do that thing. BUT, only when we view it as a learning experience.
This is what I call failing forward.
WHEN YOU FAIL FORWARD, YOU'RE MOVING TOWARD THAT END GOAL. EVEN IF YOU MAKE A GIGANTIC FOOL OF YOURSELF AS YOU FAIL FORWARD, YOU'RE STILL MOVING FORWARD. YOU LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE AND GROW.
After you fail forward enough times, you will arrive at your destination. It might not be elegant all the time, you might arrive with bruises and cuts and be bleeding from your knees, elbows and forehead, but you will get there.
If you can look past the pain or embarrassment of a failure, and use the experience to drive you forward, you're well on your way to your own success. It's all just a matter of perspective.
Also, try to have fun as you fail forward. After all, this is meant to be fun as well as challenging. If you're not doing this to achieve greater joy and satisfaction in your life, what are you doing it for?
No one said this was an easy path, but it also shouldn't be full of deep pain and mystery.