We all build confidence by trying and succeeding. It sounds so simple; but the fact is, that when we take risks, the possibility of failure is real – and in some situations can be devastating.
The new-age wisdom is that we should be totally okay with failure – in fact, we should embrace it. The logic being that we learn by trying, failing, trying again, failing again – until we get it right. I agree that this is true – but I also, on some deeper level, I feel that in order to enjoy above-average success in life, we need to set ourselves up in such a way as to minimize the ‘failure experience’ – or at least the negative effects of it.
Success breeds success. Failure is okay as a learning experience but you don’t want to keep failing forever. When we are successful with some venture; when it works out the way we planned it to work out (or better), we are likely to do it again, and again. Most times, a thoughtful, considered and well-planned approach can maximize our chances of success.
Sure, start off (when the stakes are small) with risk-taking and experimenting – but when the stakes are higher (eg: when things like your life savings, your marriage or your own life are on the line – consider carefully – plan – seek advice, etc)
We are the architects of our own lives – we need to start out with lots of sketching, erasing, trial and error – but as time goes by we should become clearer and clearer on what we want and how we are going to go about making that happen with the least amount of mistakes and the least amount of pain. Good coaching is about setting people up for success … and at the end of the day; we are each our own coach …. JBW