Teaching to fail

Afriend of ours bought a lovely book for our daughter last week, “Rosie Revere, Engineer” is a great little story about a little girl who loves to tinker and build gadgets, she gets knocked down by an uncle who laughs, meets an Auntie who fixed planes and rediscovers her love for making things.  It had both the Bee (for those of you who may be new here that’s the Mrs.) and me choked up a fair bit as it reminded us both of our past failures and how we struggled to move on.


Around the same time, I came across the story of Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, in Tony Robbins book on Money.  Sara talks about how her father encouraged her to fail, how every day she was asked, “What did you fail at today?” and how that lead to her lack of concern about failing.


There are so many other cliches and stories about how failing is good, but the truth is that failing can also really negatively impact a person’s psyche, trust me, I know.  So, as a parent, a partner, a mentor and a professional, how do I minimize the effect failure can have?


The truth is I don’t really know.  My guess is that failing a lot helps you understand how to fail better, how to fail and move on faster.  Having a family to support definitely meant that I couldn’t afford to wallow in my sorrow for too long.  I had to move on to the next thing.  But being asked in every interview or by every friend about the failure had it’s effect.  It wasn’t easy.


So, how do you get over failure, well, talking about it has definitely helped as well, whether with the Bee or with friends, or with other entrepreneurs and helping them avoid some of the trappings I wasn’t able to avoid.  Though my experience over the last year has shown me that the best way to get over failure is to try again, getting into the process all over again, working through what went wrong and coming out the other end with more success, hopefully, that’s the best way to get over the negative effect of failing.


I’m glad that my daughter’s never heard me talk about Humpty Dumpty, no one should be unable to be put back together after a fall, but she’ll definitely hear me talk more about Rosie Revere, Engineer.


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