The F-Word

What does that word failure bring up for you? Feelings of pride and possibility? Probably not.

Reframing how I think about failure is an important shift I need to make and why not lump it in with things I want to work towards this year?

At work right now, everyone is focused on executing the winning strategy and it’s driving me wild with frustration.

Think for a minute about a time you won. How did it feel? You might say great, amazing, like I was on a high, proud, excited…etc.

But I ask you to go back to the moment one more time. How did you feel about yourself? Was there an ounce of superiority? More than an ounce maybe?

The problem with a winning strategy is that it pits people against each other instead of together; everyone is an individual working to avoid being the loser. It’s where learning and collaboration go to die.

Now, I ask you to think back to a time when you have failed. So many things come to mind for me. I tried roller derby once. It was embarrassing and I learned that as a 6foot-tall woman, I don’t need to be any further away from the ground – rollerskates, not my jam. But not everything I’ve failed at, I’ve given up. And in each failure, I’ve reflected and learned more about myself.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good competition, and I love winning even more. So much so that if I’m honest, there is more than an ounce of joy I experience in knowing that someone else is the loser. I’m not proud of it, but it is true.

Competition has its place, but work life is different. The stakes are higher. And of course, some people are ‘playing the game,’ but when you ask people to get competitive with their jobs, it feels dangerous and I personally think it’s a playbook for disaster.

I’m going to practice failing and holding myself accountable for learning from that failure. Then, I’m going to celebrate actions I take to not make that mistake again.

What happens when people exist in a work environment that promotes failure? Just saying…

So cheers to the New Year, I’m a failure and you are, too!

Written for Bloganuary prompt 3: What is the earliest memory you have?

Written for Bloganuary prompt 3: What is the earliest memory you have?

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