Inspire Improv & Coaching Inc

Transforming cultures through communication and connection.

Inspire Improv & Coaching

Filtering by Tag: Failure

I Messed Up and I Want To Tell You About It

You failed! You completely fell on your face and learned from it, great! Now are you willing to share it with the world?

Everyone knows the importance of learning from failure, but how often do you share your own failure so that people outside of yourself, can also learn from your experience? BECAUSE Caitlin, it’s okay for ME to know I failed, but it is NOT okay for OTHER people to know.

I agree, because I am a human, to a point, but I think there's a better option. I'm going to step into my fear of "looking bad" and tell a story about how I messed up with a client, the very person who I need to see me as a flawless expert to survive in my business (or at least that’s what my “inner critic” or “ego”, who is FREAKING OUT right now, tells me), for the purpose of sharing a lesson I learned.

Here goes. I facilitated a workshop recently for a new client, so the success of this workshop would likely dictate how much they use me in the future. I started the day with the intention, “I’m here to serve.” However, once the afternoon rolled around and it was my turn to facilitate, they were running behind. What was supposed to be 90 minutes reserved for my training quickly shifted to a little over an hour. I had a lot to cover and this is where I got in trouble. A pesky voice in my head showed up and said, “This is a new client, you have to show them how much you know!” overpowering “I’m here to serve.”

The value that I bring to the table, is that I help people to listen to one another, through experiences, practice and discussion in order to create a better team atmosphere and culture (aka not me dominating the conversation with content). Unfortunately, the “Impress them with your knowledge!” voice took over and instead of cutting out content to make room for the important pieces, the discovery and discussion, I kept all the content, and cut the discussion time down.

Now, granted, it was probably not as pronounced as I see it in retrospect, I did receive positive feedback, but I know it could have gone differently. Instead of coming from a place of service, I came from a place of “Let me show you what I can do!” Have you ever experience that yourself? When your need to prove yourself in a superficial (or survival-based) way overtook your mission?

The “inner critic/ego” voice will always be there, the key is to notice it, but not let it guide your actions. It’s the same voice that is advising me to keep this story to myself, but I’m choosing to do something else.

We see people of influence sharing their failures, through Ted Talks, articles etc. and you have an opportunity to do the same! I encourage you share how you’ve messed up and what you learned, with those around you. 

Let's come from a place of service and share what we don't know!

Lessons My Toddler Taught Me About Failure

My husband and I recently took Frankie, our 14 month old, to Cape Cod for the first time. He just started walking this summer, so I knew that the sand would be an extra obstacle for his unstable legs. This is what watching him taught me about failure.

1. Celebrate other people’s failures!

When a toddler falls, the last thing you do is gasp and run over to them in a hurried, scared state. Instead, you cheer, so that they will master the skill of walking and not be afraid to fall in the future. Because let’s face it, Mom and Dad are tired of carrying around a 25 lb. person.

What would it be like if we did this for our teams? What if, upon failures, we cheered (figuratively, hey, maybe even literally!) and encouraged one another to fail and learn from those mistakes so that they could become masterful at what they do?

2. Enjoy the fall.

My son laughs when he falls, he thinks it is hilarious. However, it’s much easier to encourage others to fail than it is to be comfortable with it ourselves. How do you see failure? Really? It’s time to reframe. It is an opportunity, not only to learn, but to show others how you deal with failure. If you are hard on yourself, those around you will assume you’ll be just as hard on them, therefore perpetuating the nasty cycle of the fear of failure. Be kind to yourself and find joy in the process.

3. Lead with your gut.

Have you ever noticed the way a toddler walks? They lead with their belly, fully letting it hang out. None of this uncomfortable sucking in, trying to play it safe, appearing like they have it all together. Have you ever seen a baby in spanks? I didn’t think so.

The time when you fail the most epically is going to be when you follow your gut instinct and go for that crazy idea. But you know what? If you learn from it, instead of bailing and sucking it in like it never existed, you may also experience your greatest success.

Frankie spent three days trudging through the most difficult terrain for a toddler to traverse, he must have fallen a hundred times, but do you know what he’s been doing since we got back home? Running!