There is really no such thing as failure, only feedback

In my last post, I wrote that failure is in the eye of the beholder.

When a project ends, talking about whether it was a success or a failure is sometimes like talking about religion or politics. For the most part people will have their own opinions and there is nothing you can do to change their minds.

In this post, I propose to you that, when it comes to your personal development and growth, there should be no such thing as failure, only feedback.

You can train yourself to look at every setback as good feedback.

When one of your projects fails, you can get caught in an endless “woulda coulda shoulda” cycle of self-blame. You can end up driving yourself crazy dwelling on the past, when everyone else around you has moved on.

Dealing with failure is an inner game.

Your confidence in yourself will be shaped by your internal dialogue and how you re-frame failure. In fact, the story you tell yourself after a failure has more impact on your self confidence than the one you tell yourself after success.

You can train yourself to become more resilient by learning how to attach different frames to the events that happen to you. The frame you choose will determine the meaning you will give to that event.  The meaning you give to an event will in turn determine how you will react to it emotionally and invest the knowledge you gained in the future.

How you cope emotionally with failure will determine how fast you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and bounce back.

As you get out of your zone of comfort, most of the situations you will encounter will not come with a manual to follow. For the most part, you will be on your own.

You will have to invent the wheel with each new situation your encounter, until you develop you own repertoire of strategies and tactics to deal with the different challenges you will face on projects.

If you are afraid to fail, you will not take the risks you need to take to learn and grow. Only when you venture outside your zone of comfort, will your real learning begin.

As you lead more and more complex projects, enter each project prepared to face failure. You will be operating at the edge of your competence. You will need to be emotionally prepared to deal with the fear of failure and cope with its aftermath.

Some things you will try will work and some will not. Sometimes the failure will be small tactical errors. Sometimes they will be spectacular messes.

Think of yourself as work in progress and under construction. Only through your successes and failures will you get the feedback you need to continue raising your game and taking your performance to the next level with every project you lead.

In my next post, I will explore how blaming ourselves and or our project teams for project failures can only work for so long before we have to face the fact that “It takes a village to fail a project

As always, if you have any comments, questions, or rants, – or you just want to say hi – please feel free to leave a comment below.

To your project success!

7 Responses to There is really no such thing as failure, only feedback
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Easy Project, Samad Aidane PMP. Samad Aidane PMP said: Why I believe "there is no such thing as failure, only feedback!" http://bit.ly/clutrz #pmot #pmp #pm […]

  2. It takes a village to fail a project
    August 12, 2010 | 12:39 am

    […] In my previous 2 posts, I wrote that failure is in the eye of the beholder and there is no failure, only feedback. […]

  3. Failure is in the eye of the beholder
    August 12, 2010 | 12:43 am

    […] my next post, I will explore why “there is really no such thing as failure, only feedback” and why it takes a village to fail a […]

  4. […] There is really no such thing as failure, only feedback […]

  5. […] There is really no such thing as failure, only feedback […]

  6. Sajdi
    September 30, 2010 | 1:26 pm

    So true! I have found that as hard as it is to fail, when you are accountable and take lesson’s learned for what they are (growth opportunities), management is more accepting of that (and sometimes respects it)…but… maybe it is that way as long as you are failing only some of the time, management will be more accepting of “failure” with accountability. 🙂

    “failure” – speaking of reframing “failure” one place to start is with the vocabulary we use. The words you use in describing dealing with failure are “positive” words. I think it makes a HUGE difference to how we process events if we use positive or negative (punishing) words in our dialog (internal and external).

    • samad_aidane
      October 1, 2010 | 3:07 am

      Sajdi,

      So glad you took the time to comment.

      I can’t agree with you more. It is important how you handle the aftermath of failure. You made me think of the idea that “not all failures are equal”. I know people that can get away with taking big chance and failing. I also know people who get in deep trouble for the smallest of mistakes.

      There is this whole body of knowledge around self-mastery (and dealing with Failure is a big part of it) that we need to pay attention to, as we develop our leadership skills in whatever we do.

      I totally agree with you on the need to be careful about the vocabulary we use. Words are so powerful and can leave a permanent scar in our psyche if we are not careful. I think it is easier for us to be careful what words we use when we talk to others. However, I think is tough for us to do the same when we talk to ourselves (that mind chatter or internal dialogue that is happening all the time inside of us without our control).

      Thank you again.

      Cheers.

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://www.guerrillaprojectmanagement.com/there-is-really-no-such-thing-as-failure-only-feedback/trackback

There is really no such thing as failure, only feedback

In my last post, I wrote that failure is in the eye of the beholder.

When a project ends, talking about whether it was a success or a failure is sometimes like talking about religion or politics. For the most part people will have their own opinions and there is nothing you can do to change their minds.

In this post, I propose to you that, when it comes to your personal development and growth, there should be no such thing as failure, only feedback.

You can train yourself to look at every setback as good feedback.

When one of your projects fails, you can get caught in an endless “woulda coulda shoulda” cycle of self-blame. You can end up driving yourself crazy dwelling on the past, when everyone else around you has moved on.

Dealing with failure is an inner game.

Your confidence in yourself will be shaped by your internal dialogue and how you re-frame failure. In fact, the story you tell yourself after a failure has more impact on your self confidence than the one you tell yourself after success.

You can train yourself to become more resilient by learning how to attach different frames to the events that happen to you. The frame you choose will determine the meaning you will give to that event.  The meaning you give to an event will in turn determine how you will react to it emotionally and invest the knowledge you gained in the future.

How you cope emotionally with failure will determine how fast you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and bounce back.

As you get out of your zone of comfort, most of the situations you will encounter will not come with a manual to follow. For the most part, you will be on your own.

You will have to invent the wheel with each new situation your encounter, until you develop you own repertoire of strategies and tactics to deal with the different challenges you will face on projects.

If you are afraid to fail, you will not take the risks you need to take to learn and grow. Only when you venture outside your zone of comfort, will your real learning begin.

As you lead more and more complex projects, enter each project prepared to face failure. You will be operating at the edge of your competence. You will need to be emotionally prepared to deal with the fear of failure and cope with its aftermath.

Some things you will try will work and some will not. Sometimes the failure will be small tactical errors. Sometimes they will be spectacular messes.

Think of yourself as work in progress and under construction. Only through your successes and failures will you get the feedback you need to continue raising your game and taking your performance to the next level with every project you lead.

In my next post, I will explore how blaming ourselves and or our project teams for project failures can only work for so long before we have to face the fact that “It takes a village to fail a project

As always, if you have any comments, questions, or rants, – or you just want to say hi – please feel free to leave a comment below.

To your project success!

7 Responses to There is really no such thing as failure, only feedback
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Easy Project, Samad Aidane PMP. Samad Aidane PMP said: Why I believe "there is no such thing as failure, only feedback!" http://bit.ly/clutrz #pmot #pmp #pm […]

  2. It takes a village to fail a project
    August 12, 2010 | 12:39 am

    […] In my previous 2 posts, I wrote that failure is in the eye of the beholder and there is no failure, only feedback. […]

  3. Failure is in the eye of the beholder
    August 12, 2010 | 12:43 am

    […] my next post, I will explore why “there is really no such thing as failure, only feedback” and why it takes a village to fail a […]

  4. […] There is really no such thing as failure, only feedback […]

  5. […] There is really no such thing as failure, only feedback […]

  6. Sajdi
    September 30, 2010 | 1:26 pm

    So true! I have found that as hard as it is to fail, when you are accountable and take lesson’s learned for what they are (growth opportunities), management is more accepting of that (and sometimes respects it)…but… maybe it is that way as long as you are failing only some of the time, management will be more accepting of “failure” with accountability. 🙂

    “failure” – speaking of reframing “failure” one place to start is with the vocabulary we use. The words you use in describing dealing with failure are “positive” words. I think it makes a HUGE difference to how we process events if we use positive or negative (punishing) words in our dialog (internal and external).

    • samad_aidane
      October 1, 2010 | 3:07 am

      Sajdi,

      So glad you took the time to comment.

      I can’t agree with you more. It is important how you handle the aftermath of failure. You made me think of the idea that “not all failures are equal”. I know people that can get away with taking big chance and failing. I also know people who get in deep trouble for the smallest of mistakes.

      There is this whole body of knowledge around self-mastery (and dealing with Failure is a big part of it) that we need to pay attention to, as we develop our leadership skills in whatever we do.

      I totally agree with you on the need to be careful about the vocabulary we use. Words are so powerful and can leave a permanent scar in our psyche if we are not careful. I think it is easier for us to be careful what words we use when we talk to others. However, I think is tough for us to do the same when we talk to ourselves (that mind chatter or internal dialogue that is happening all the time inside of us without our control).

      Thank you again.

      Cheers.

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://www.guerrillaprojectmanagement.com/there-is-really-no-such-thing-as-failure-only-feedback/trackback

There is really no such thing as failure, only feedback

In my last post, I wrote that failure is in the eye of the beholder.

When a project ends, talking about whether it was a success or a failure is sometimes like talking about religion or politics. For the most part people will have their own opinions and there is nothing you can do to change their minds.

In this post, I propose to you that, when it comes to your personal development and growth, there should be no such thing as failure, only feedback.

You can train yourself to look at every setback as good feedback.

When one of your projects fails, you can get caught in an endless “woulda coulda shoulda” cycle of self-blame. You can end up driving yourself crazy dwelling on the past, when everyone else around you has moved on.

Dealing with failure is an inner game.

Your confidence in yourself will be shaped by your internal dialogue and how you re-frame failure. In fact, the story you tell yourself after a failure has more impact on your self confidence than the one you tell yourself after success.

You can train yourself to become more resilient by learning how to attach different frames to the events that happen to you. The frame you choose will determine the meaning you will give to that event.  The meaning you give to an event will in turn determine how you will react to it emotionally and invest the knowledge you gained in the future.

How you cope emotionally with failure will determine how fast you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and bounce back.

As you get out of your zone of comfort, most of the situations you will encounter will not come with a manual to follow. For the most part, you will be on your own.

You will have to invent the wheel with each new situation your encounter, until you develop you own repertoire of strategies and tactics to deal with the different challenges you will face on projects.

If you are afraid to fail, you will not take the risks you need to take to learn and grow. Only when you venture outside your zone of comfort, will your real learning begin.

As you lead more and more complex projects, enter each project prepared to face failure. You will be operating at the edge of your competence. You will need to be emotionally prepared to deal with the fear of failure and cope with its aftermath.

Some things you will try will work and some will not. Sometimes the failure will be small tactical errors. Sometimes they will be spectacular messes.

Think of yourself as work in progress and under construction. Only through your successes and failures will you get the feedback you need to continue raising your game and taking your performance to the next level with every project you lead.

In my next post, I will explore how blaming ourselves and or our project teams for project failures can only work for so long before we have to face the fact that “It takes a village to fail a project

As always, if you have any comments, questions, or rants, – or you just want to say hi – please feel free to leave a comment below.

To your project success!

7 Responses to There is really no such thing as failure, only feedback
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Easy Project, Samad Aidane PMP. Samad Aidane PMP said: Why I believe "there is no such thing as failure, only feedback!" http://bit.ly/clutrz #pmot #pmp #pm […]

  2. It takes a village to fail a project
    August 12, 2010 | 12:39 am

    […] In my previous 2 posts, I wrote that failure is in the eye of the beholder and there is no failure, only feedback. […]

  3. Failure is in the eye of the beholder
    August 12, 2010 | 12:43 am

    […] my next post, I will explore why “there is really no such thing as failure, only feedback” and why it takes a village to fail a […]

  4. […] There is really no such thing as failure, only feedback […]

  5. […] There is really no such thing as failure, only feedback […]

  6. Sajdi
    September 30, 2010 | 1:26 pm

    So true! I have found that as hard as it is to fail, when you are accountable and take lesson’s learned for what they are (growth opportunities), management is more accepting of that (and sometimes respects it)…but… maybe it is that way as long as you are failing only some of the time, management will be more accepting of “failure” with accountability. 🙂

    “failure” – speaking of reframing “failure” one place to start is with the vocabulary we use. The words you use in describing dealing with failure are “positive” words. I think it makes a HUGE difference to how we process events if we use positive or negative (punishing) words in our dialog (internal and external).

    • samad_aidane
      October 1, 2010 | 3:07 am

      Sajdi,

      So glad you took the time to comment.

      I can’t agree with you more. It is important how you handle the aftermath of failure. You made me think of the idea that “not all failures are equal”. I know people that can get away with taking big chance and failing. I also know people who get in deep trouble for the smallest of mistakes.

      There is this whole body of knowledge around self-mastery (and dealing with Failure is a big part of it) that we need to pay attention to, as we develop our leadership skills in whatever we do.

      I totally agree with you on the need to be careful about the vocabulary we use. Words are so powerful and can leave a permanent scar in our psyche if we are not careful. I think it is easier for us to be careful what words we use when we talk to others. However, I think is tough for us to do the same when we talk to ourselves (that mind chatter or internal dialogue that is happening all the time inside of us without our control).

      Thank you again.

      Cheers.

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Trackback URL http://www.guerrillaprojectmanagement.com/there-is-really-no-such-thing-as-failure-only-feedback/trackback