My parents were incredibly loving, supportive and kind, but what I now realize is that they never talked to me about their day to day lives, their work, their challenges and most definitely NEVER about failing.
At a young age I deduced that you are either Perfect or you Fail.
To me, it was very black and white, no grey area.
I had no idea that my dad made mistakes and got over them.
I had no idea if my mom ever tried to do something she was afraid of.
What I do know is that I would have made different choices throughout my life if I hadn’t been afraid to fail.
I wouldn’t have asked my basketball coach to bench me as a starter for my senior high school final game because I was too afraid not to live up to other people’s expectations, to make a mistake.
I wouldn’t have done everything in my power to avoid writing a press release during my short PR career out of a fear of someone on my team or a client thinking I wasn’t a good enough writer. Of course avoiding was literally impossible, so anything I wrote was with a massive pit in my stomach.
I avoided the possibility of failure at all costs.
But now, I know differently.
I can fail forward.
Maybe you are still like I was?
Maybe your kids feel like I did? Maybe you have team members who feel the fear of not getting it perfect?
What would change if you helped them to redefine what failure means?
Making it nothing to do with getting it perfect.
What about making it about truly doing a kick ass job, your best, but if the outcome isn’t what you wanted, trusting that next time you’ll do it differently.
I know that’s the message I want to send to my kids and my peers.
One thing I stated doing is sharing my work and life experiences with my kids. After I give a talk, a workshop, pitch a company, I talk about it. I tell them how I thought I did and what I would do differently next time. I tell them if I’m nervous going into something, if I’m proud of myself afterwards, etc…
My commitment is that they don’t strive to be Perfect.
My wish is that they associate trying and not falling short as normal. Nothing to fear.
So many lessons can be learnt from sharing as parents, as leaders as role models.
What do you wish somebody had told you? Who can you now turn around and go and share this wisdom with? Sharing your experiences is an invaluable way to help those around you navigate their own lives and careers. Wouldn’t you love to hear the truth from your peers, or those you look up to?
I believe so strongly in the power of learning from shared experiences. We have so much to learn from each other.
Along these lines…. I am working on something really exciting!! It is based on learning new Tools to help us navigate our careers and lives, but most importantly creating an incredible opportunity to learn from others and connect authentically with other motivated and amazing women.