Why "Failures" Are Your Hidden Super Powers: Part 2

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Spread Your Sunshine Founder Melanie S. Griffin, Esq. recently addressed the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL) Thomas M. Cooley – Tampa Bay Chapter regarding Why “Failures” Are Your Hidden Superpowers. This presentation focused on why you should not be afraid of "failing," and instead, embrace that sometimes things will not turn out as planned, remember that no one has a 100% failure rate (including *you*!), change your definition of “failure,” learn from and do not dwell on challenging experiences, and have a game plan for them. While this program was presented to FAWL, almost the entire discussion applies to graduate students and professionals across all industries. It is therefore hoped that Part 2 of this three-part series focused on Why Failures Are Your Hidden Super Powers helps fabulous YOU as you do the hard work on these issues and make the changes necessary to shine your brightest.

Why “Failures” Are Your Hidden Superpowers

As hinted in Part 1 of this series, after processing what was initially a negative experience, you can benefit from several silver linings. This is where the magic lies, these are your hidden superpowers. The following are a few of our favorites.

Increased Growth & Learning: Acknowledging your fear gives you the opportunity to ask for feedback, help, and/or criticism. Implementing what you learn will accelerate your personal and professional growth, making you an even bigger and badder version of your previous self. For example, feel overwhelmed by investment opportunities, such as gold coins? Instead of letting intimidation stop you from growing your nest egg, commit to studying investment strategies that will lead to increased financial freedom.

New Opportunities, Jobs, Relationships & Experiences: Sticking with what you know so that you never fail stagnates your career, relationships, and more. The willingness to accept new challenges, even when uncomfortable, provides you with opportunities not previously envisioned.

Maximized High Performance: Continued high performance requires new challenges. Although it may be counterintuitive, at some point, continuing to do what has become routine will cause you to backslide. Preventing this regression requires accepting new projects and committing to lifelong learning.

Heightened Productivity: “Move fast and break things.” That was Mark Zuckerberg’s initial motto when founding Facebook. “Failure” was the only way to determine if something worked before being outpaced by the competition. Likewise, your productivity will be severely hindered if you constantly worry about making the “wrong decision.” Instead, accept that “failure” may be an option, and if so, it is not the worst potential outcome. Holding yourself back and never reaching your full potential would be much worse.

Better Time Management: When you fear “failure,” tasks, regardless of their importance, can take an inordinate amount of time. Abandoning your need to make everything perfect will liberate you and allow you to better manage your time.

Improved Drive, Motivation & Work Ethic: Your dream not working out as planned the first time often gives you more determination and focus to achieve it next time.

Boosted Self-Confidence: Learning that “failures” have several benefits and you are not alone in such experiences improves your mood and the perspective you bring to new projects and challenges.

Enhanced Joy and Happiness: The more you think about something, the more intensely you feel the associated emotion. For example, pretend someone upset you by cutting you off while driving to work this morning. The more you think about the scenario throughout the day, the angrier you get. Even when you temporarily forget the situation, say when eating a delicious lunch, you snap back to perturbed anger upon remembering what happened.

Now, rewind and imagine the scenario differently. You were once again cut off while driving to work this morning. This time, however, you wished the other driver had handled the situation differently, but let it go and did not get angry. As a result, your day rocks, as there is no negativity weighing you down.

The same is true with the fear of failure. When you fixate on it, it can be debilitating. Set aside, however, your mind is refreshed and empowered to try new projects and experiences that you otherwise would not have pursued and that you most greatly enjoy.

Built-Up Resilience: Surviving one setback helps you better withstand and more quickly recover from future hardship.

Connected Empathy & Authentic Leadership Skills: When you know what it is like to “fail,” you are more sympathetic to others who endure similar experiences, heightening your ability to connect, provide helpful support, and best lead your team.

Curated Branding: Oftentimes, our funniest and most relatable stories come from our “failures.” You may therefore best connect with others, whether it be your mentees, employees, or customers, when you have shared disappointing past experiences.

Advanced Goal Achievement & Success: As the saying goes, “You miss 100% of the shots you do not take.” While you may have some misses along the way, ultimately, abandoning your fear of failure will empower you to pursue new endeavors, eventually leading you to heights not otherwise achieved.

Final Thoughts

To view and listen to this presentation in its entirety, please click here or on the video below. 

Is there anything you want to hear more about from Spread Your Sunshine?! We’re sure you do, so please share your ideas with us by emailing Melanie at Melanie@SpreadYourSunshine.com or by sending Spread Your Sunshine a message via FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, or Twitter. We love hearing from you, as together we are strongest.

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