As you leave the decade of the 2010s, it’s natural to find yourself in a reflective mood, recapping the successes and less-than-successful moments of the last decade. Like many do this time of year, you might even be considering ways to improve yourself in the coming year, or decade. New Year’s Resolutions, as a pronouncement or public practice, seem to be out of style in recent years. However, if you’re like me (and most humans), you probably can’t help but think of the turnover of years in terms of what you might do better next time around the sun. And if that’s the case – if you are, in fact, pondering acts of self improvement, let me make a friendly suggestion to you:
That’s it. Commit to failure in your personal and professional life, on a greater scale, with more frequency and even more enthusiasm if you can muster it. Failure is one of the most powerful growth and change producing tools we have at our disposal. It is also one of the most under-appreciated.
Commit in 2020 to putting yourself out there, to leaving your comfort zone and the safety of your expertise, and trying something you aren’t good at. Growing new expertise requires it. Commit to looking silly, to feeling out of place, and to maybe even stretching yourself. Expanding your perspective requires it. This year, try on a new role, a new persona, or take on a new responsibility. Your personal growth requires it. For those in your life, extend the grace – allow them to try new things, to reach for and fail to grasp, to risk the unknown with your unconditional support. Your relationships require it. In your workplace, create an atmosphere where those you lead can fail, knowing that you support their learning, their creativity, and the expansion of their skills as a result. Your leadership requires it.
You don’t have to eat healthy, quit smoking, or go to the gym every day in 2020. All you have to do is embrace failure in a new way. If you want to make this year a year of growth, all you have to do is fail more. For support in your failure journey, follow http://www.reclaimingfailure.com – Have a great year!