Did you recently review your 2018 goals? How did you do? Did you make 2018 your…friend? Did you crush 100% of your goals?
Awesome. Feels pretty good, right?
Actually, if you’re crushing it left and right — guess what? You’re still failing.
Here’s where I’m going with this: if you’re meeting or beating ALL of your goals, that means you’re really not crushing it fully, because you’re not pushing yourself and challenging yourself to experiment and try more. You’re not stretching.
I love working in beta. I’m beta testing several processes and products right now. I enjoy being the first. Or doing something better. It may be the science geek coming out, but I love a good experiment. A/B testing is my jam. But sometimes, just like the mad scientist in the lab, I fail. I fail more than my fair share. I fail hard. When it comes to my personal goals for 2018, I failed on SEVERAL of them. I’ve SPECTACULARLY FAILED AT SEVERAL THINGS IN 2018.
On the other hand, there’s also a bit of a cultural bromance right now with failure porn (BTW: I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND GOOGLING THE TERM ‘FAILURE PORN’!) There’s a camp out there particularly in the startup world that enjoys celebrating failure. It’s something to be revered.
Also a poor choice.
The better choice is to ponder why something failed, and pick yourself up and dust off. Failure is a great teacher.
Where we should all aim to work around is somewhere in the middle of these 2 extremes. It’s okay to crush it sometimes — it’s GREAT to win! But if you’re crushing it ALL the time, you’re not experimenting or pushing enough. On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want to be failing 100% of the time either. You also don’t want to get too cozy with failure. Let it continue to annoy and bother you as it does me. Like nails down a chalkboard or a splinter in your paw, that gritty, annoying feeling is the energy I use to get better. To push ahead. To try again. To do and be better.
Am I suggesting averageness here? I don’t know. All I do know that is one one end or the other — always winning or always losing — is probably not the best place to be.
Ponder this when writing your goals for next year, as I will….
Erin L. Albert is great at failure, but sometimes crushes it.