Your brain doesn’t know the difference between a saber-toothed tiger attacking you and a co-worker complaining about you behind your back. It’s true. Think about that for a moment.
Human beings are hardwired to reduce the amount of risk and uncertainty in our lives. Therefore it’s so much easier for us to believe that mistakes can be avoided with enough planning time with enough details with enough checklists and if we just tried hard enough to dot all the i’s and cross all the tease than all mistakes can be avoided. This is not true.
The simple truth of the matter is that occasionally and in fact more often than we would like to we fail. The problem is that as human beings we want to minimize the amount of risk that we take and therefore minimize the amount of failure that we face. this might be a good strategy to avoid the feeling of failure or the feeling of doing something incorrectly, but it is a horrible strategy if you want to do anything new creative more interesting in your life or your work.
- What would happen in your life if you thought of failure as much less permanent?
- What would happen in your life if you could treat failure the same way that you treated flipping a coin?
I often do an exercise with groups that I work with called “walk – stop”. In this exercise I tell but it depends to walk and then I tell if I get them to stop. And then I reverse the commands so stop it becomes walk and walk becomes stop and so on. In that instance most of the people in the room begin making mistakes over and over and over again and you know what happens? Nothing. Nothing bad happens at all.
Why do other mistakes have so much weight or meaning in your work?
What would your life or work look like if you were able to see things like risk and failure as just parts of a much longer journey?