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I have a problem with learning from failure.
I am coming to a slow realization that when I fail, I have a hard time accepting it and moving on.
My issue seems to come from not being good at something, that I think I should be good at. Instead of chalking it up as a loss and moving forward, I ruminate. I pick apart each moment, piece by piece, until I find something.
If there is no clear verdict, it becomes a never-ending reel of failure.
This is bad.
I am pretty sure a therapist would not recommend ruminating on past failures as a healthy way of moving forward. This doesn’t sound like growth.
It sounds like a prison sentence.
At least with the justice system, there is a chance of parole.
THE CRIME OF IMPERFECTION
There are some things I don’t mind failing and looking like an idiot, like that time I tried to get my motorcycle license. But if it’s anything that I take pride in, I am awful at accepting my failure and moving on.
Customer service is one area that I have way too much pride.
I am reluctant to admit that I am a people pleasurer. I want everyone to be happy and have a good time. Even though I know that is impossible.
This is probably why hosting gives me hives.
When I do experience an unhappy customer, I try to rationalize all the reasons why this stranger would vomit verbal awfulness:
They are having a bad day.
They probably hate their life.
Maybe, they just need to get laid.
Whatever the unlikely reason, I am unable to accept that they will not be pleased by my efforts.
My mind revisits the tormented moment again and again. It seems to have purposely sabotaged a demented film of my failure that continues to repeat without end.
It takes a lot of mental effort to tear my eyes away from this failure-film.
Up next, the interrogation:
Why didn’t I study more?
Why didn’t I try harder?
What else could I have done?
It feels like if I had all the answers, I could protect myself from failing.
EARLY RELEASE FROM A LIFE SENTENCE
My salvation was found in a book.
I am reading a rambling book called, The Rule. It investigates many financial and personal things but a part of it resonated with me. It was how the author embraced his failures. He shares how he is almost blind and dyslexic and it was his comfort with failure that lead to his multimillion-dollar success.
He was well aquatinted with failing from running into walls to almost losing his entire fortune. What made him different from his Ivy League counterparts was that he could quickly walk away while learning from failure. For most of this life, that was all he knew.
His story is fascinating and inspiring.
As a tribute to my inner struggle with learning from failure, I decided to try failing once a day. Preferably, at what I hate to fail at – customer service.
I am not about to start cussing out my customers but I am going to try to not tie myself into knots when the customer is upset with what I am offering.
That is my plan.
Once a day, I will try to fail at something so that I can gain exposure and, hopefully, comfort with being human and imperfect.
This is going to be so much fun………..