Could Your Success Start With Failure?

Written by on Saturday May 18, 2013

Psychologists’ research finds that most people are too conservative and too afraid of failure. What do you see about your decisions when you look in the mirror?
Tim Harford, in his new book, Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure, argues that “the everyday rituals of life are carefully designed to ensure that people experience the painful sensation of failure as rarely as possible.”
The irony is that when we read about a high achiever in any field or see them interviewed on TV, they almost invariably mention how much they failed and how hard they worked to grow and improve – almost to the point of cliché.
Harford notes that becoming top of your game means being able to do two things that most people avoid:

  • a) Analyse your mistakes and learn from them
  • b) Solicit criticism, not ignore or avoid it!
    • Do you do this in your work? I know I am guilty of having avoided it. I am sure this has slowed down my growth.
    • How about your personal life? It takes courage to ask these things. Jack Canfield recommends asking your partner: “On a scale of 1-10; how did I do this past week. If it wasn’t a 10, what I could do to make it a 10? If it was a 10, what did I do so right?”

Lastly, how often do you openly admit mistakes? Harford notes that “it is very hard to admit an error to ourselves – we would rather repeat it, in an act of self-justification.”
As I mentioned in the Paddi Lund article, most of us could apologise more often. It is not a sign of weakness – hardly anyone does it – it is a sign of courage, strength and honesty.
What would be a wise thing for you to do more? I know I plan to request more critical feedback from now on instead of just pats on the back for my ego.
Author: Matt Anderson, The Referral Authority, Author of Fearless Referrals Copyright 2011.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>