Learning how to fail…

My boss is my new inspiration…She’s on the younger side or so she appears to be by her looks, although I can’t be certain of her age as I’ve never asked nor dug into her life out of respect. I must say I’m completely in awe over her. Simply out of how much she has accomplished in her life.

Although, I am curious as to how many times she’s failed at something she reached out to accomplish. Not out of a narcissistic attitude for her. Far, far from it. But simple curiosity and to learn.

I’ve always believed learning how to fail properly is the type of knowledge that needs to be obtained to be able to progress through life. An infant, would be the greatest example of this. This analogy brought to my attention by a book my father had me read as a child. “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman.

“If babies held the same tendency toward self-criticism as adults, they might never learn to walk or talk. Can you imagine infants stomping, ‘Aarggh! Screwed up again!’ Fortunately, babies are free of self-criticism. They just keep practicing.”

I often find myself my harshest critic. In anything I do, I don’t feel I need to be a master at it. But I feel I need to be competent at it. On a School Grading Scale at least a B.

But how to do that when you’re your own worst critic? You give yourself the same patience you would a baby learning to walk. Everybody learns at different speeds and in different ways. When it comes to programming, I know people who can read a book…and be able to understand that language. While myself I need to sit and practice. I need to just attempt it. Because that’s how I learned how to accept failure. By simply doing something and not getting it right. You pick yourself back up as a baby does. Look at what you did wrong, maybe grasp the couch in a different spot to give yourself more leverage. Oops…you fell again…but did you progress? If so…you’ve learned how to fail.

It sounds funny. “Learning how to fail.” It’s not hard to fail. While in my head…yes…yes it is. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome. While learning to fail is stopping and trying something different that you’ve learned through your failures. Even if it’s just a different spot on the couch as you—the infant—are grasping to pull yourself up on. It’s learning, it’s growing, it’s working towards taking that step.