Why Failure is GOOD
As much as I don’t want to share one of my recent failures, I must.
It’s important for my growth that I share. It’s important for my teen daughter to see me share my failures. Hopefully, it’ll make it easier for her when she feels she’s failed.
After all, we all fail. Maybe even daily in some way. It’s part of life.
Failure does have a negative connotation though, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be better to refer to them as ‘occurrences’? Or better yet ‘opportunities’?
But I digress. I did title this section ‘Failure’, so I had better quit stalling and write about this one in particular.
A very recent business Failure
Some of you may know that I am Conscious Life Coach who loves working with Moms of Teens, helping them to reconnect. Part of my service offerings is hosting a Conscious Moms Circle to support Moms during the week. Help them decompress. Offer them different ways of interacting with their teens. Encourage them during those difficult times. Unite us Moms in our journey of parenting a teen.
Well, I had my first Conscious Moms Circle last week and that was a Failure!! But a GOOD Failure!! Let me go back and tell you how it all went down.
I advertised my first group for last week. I created a FB event and shared it to different relevant groups. I sent out invites. Many Moms said “interested” but no one committed. Regardless, I was going to be there. If no one showed up, I could still get some work done I figured.
That afternoon, my teen came down with a very painful earache that had her in hysterics at times. I helped her as best as I could; by the time I left for the group, she was no longer in so much pain. She was fine with me leaving for a couple of hours as she knew this group was (& is) important to me. And to other Moms.
I had planned on getting to the office about 20-30 min ahead of time, but was only 10 min early. Even if no one showed up, I had planned to do a trial run so to speak.
As I was getting everything ready in the office space, I sat down to reach for my phone to listen to one of Sheila’s meditations. No phone. What? I searched the car, thinking maybe my phone had slipped under the seat. No such luck. I didn’t have it. And no laptop either! Had I really just left both of them at home? NO!!
I didn’t have enough time to get my phone, so I meditated on my own. Organized a bit. And waited patiently. Finally, after about 12-13 minutes after the group was to start, I decided that no one was showing up.
No one showing up was not the Failure!
I was ok with that – really! I was not considering this a failure at all. I know the later part of August is a tough time of the year for people. I was fine with no one showing up to the first group. I know this group is needed. And Moms will show up, especially once school starts.
I locked up, went out to the car and waited for a couple more minutes. I looked around the parking lot. Nope. Still no one. I left. Once I arrived back home & checked on my teen, I finally found my phone on my laptop. Of course! I had planned on bringing both of them with me. Because I was going to have lots of extra time when I got there early.
Here was the Failure
As I checked my phone, I saw an IM about my event. A Mom letting me know she was on her way but was going to be late! NO!!!
My initial reaction was “NO! I can’t believe I let her down!! A Mom in need and I wasn’t there to support her. UGH!!”
Of course, I replied right away. But it was 1 ½ hours later. I apologized and explained. Thankfully, this Mom was understanding.
Side note: In the past, I would have beat myself up for the entire evening and next day, about me letting this Mom down. This time, I only felt bad about letting this Mom down. I was not beating myself up for forgetting my phone. After all, that was a mistake, not a failure. Mistakes happen.
The failure was letting this Mom down. Not being there to support her, even if she was a bit late, which frankly, is irrelevant in this situation.
But was it really a Bad Failure?
The following day, I dig in a bit further. And make some decisions about my Conscious Moms Circles.
- Start the group later in the evening.
- Wait until school is back in session before re-starting the group.
- Stay the entire time of the group, even if no one shows up. By me being there, I am holding space and intention for the group, even if no one shows up that time. They will.
- Consider adding a weekend group once a month.
- ALWAYS bring my laptop! As a solopreneur there is always something that can be done.
- ALWAYS make sure I have my phone stop before leaving the house!
So you see, this failure was a GOOD failure. It was a great opportunity to make some necessary changes to this much needed Moms Circle of support.
What makes a GOOD Failure?
Simply – the willingness to change.
A failure is a wonderful way to learn what didn’t work and why. Then to make adjustments for a better outcome the next time around.
Failure has gotten a bad rap over the years because we have such high expectations for our results. Of wanting to be perfect every time.
When the outcome isn’t what we expected and we are reluctant to tweak our projects, or to throw out some of our hard work, we restrict our growth. And limit the full potential of our project’s intention.
We see good failures in business all the time; we may not recognize them as such though. Software companies are always upgrading their software to fix bugs and glitches. Big name companies update their logo and branding to match their evolution. Recently, I saw an email to join someone’s ‘Video Marketing 2.0’. Just the title tells me ‘we’ve made changes to make this version of our class even better’, and I’m kind of glad I didn’t sign up for their 1st version. All these show us Failures are GOOD - right?
What have been Your GOOD Failures?
As you think back on something that you may have considered a failure, did you make any changes as a result? Did you make different choices? If so, then it was a GOOD failure! And a great opportunity for some much-needed changes for a better version.
I shared my recent business failure with my teen, and about how it is a great opportunity to make some needed changes. We also talked about her upcoming school year and her expectations for her grades. As I let go of wanting perfect results for myself, my teen is becoming more open to learning from her ‘mistakes’ and to making changes. And to not beat herself up when she makes mistakes, which are bound to happen.
How do you help your children turn their ‘not perfect’ outcomes at school into opportunities to make changes? What are some ideas that worked? And others that need adjusting?
Need some support with a failure?
Sometimes it’s hard to adjust your thinking or to make different choices. Especially when it’s with a project that took a lot of hard work. Or about a decision that really stretch you out of your comfort zone.
The Consciously Awesome team can teach you tools to help you through to the other side of these GOOD failures. We can even help you turn those bad failures into GOOD ones. With Ease. Even with Joy. Click here to find out more.
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Shedding the shyness of my youth, I cheer exuberantly for my daughter, her teammates, and even the opposing Field Hockey team! Their pride & heart filled smiles beam in appreciation regardless of the final score.