Are you ready to fail?

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There is a lot of publicity lately on failure. To just name a few books: “the power of failure” by Sarah Lewis, “fail, fail again, fail better“ by Pema Chödrön, “the subtle art of not giving a f*ck” by Mark Manson. There are even “fuck up nights” organized around the world. It turns out that people that are more comfortable with failure feel more liberated, experience less stress and anxiety and perform better. So, how can we welcome imperfection in our lives? Easier said than done. As nobody wants to fail. And we don’t want others to fail either. 

According to psychologists we suffer from a “fail paradox”: we know that our mistakes can teach us a lot, however, we don’t embrace them. Whenever we make a mistake, we tend to cover it up, be judgmental towards ourselves and tell ourselves we are not good enough. The American psychologist Carol Dweck became famous with her theory on the “growth mindset” and the “fixed mindset”. According to her, people with a fixed mindset are convinced that their talent and competences are fixed. People with a growth mindset know that their intelligence and talents are not fixed. They know that effort, education and asking for help makes you more competent. And if we believe that we can develop ourselves, it will be easier to accept mistakes.

So how fail-proof are you?

  • do you have a grip on excessive perfectionism?
  • can you turn on your own “growth mindset”?
  • how is your inner critic behaving?
  • is there a need to proof yourself?
  • could you be kinder towards yourself when you make a mistake?
  • are you willing to accept more difficult challenges?

If we learn to see that everything is a learning journey, failure doesn’t exist!