Show me someone who has never made a mistake in their lives and I’ll show you someone who isn’t telling the full story! Not one of us can honestly say we’ve never messed up at something either in education, work or just life in general. Okay, there is a scale of mistake but even the smallest one has the power to trip you up or allow others to try to trip you up. Why is that? Because we often see those mistakes as failure.
There was a joke years ago referring to people having letters after their name for qualifications they’ve earned, and someone said he had 7 letters after his name: F-A-I-L-U-R-E. It was tongue in cheek but the reality is that there are people out there – maybe even you as you read this – that have been labelled, or labelled themselves, as a failure because of something that didn’t go right earlier in their life.
In the video below, Simon Sinek (yes, I’m back to his wisdom again!), tries to help us to move on from this way of thinking, especially by dropping the use of the word ‘failure’ and using the word ‘falling’ instead. This gives a natural thought journey that if someone falls, you help them up. You don’t leave them there. Sinek says:
The language of “falling” vs “failure” matters because it changes our mindset. Falling happens naturally. As leaders, we have to encourage our teams to take risks and help them get up when they fall – not instill fear that they could lose their job.
This is a hugely important not just in business, but in community life as well. People around us will fall in many ways. It is up to those around them to pick them up, dust them off, and set them going again in whatever form of action that takes. I’m a huge fan of this suggestion and it forms a large part of what I have the opportunity to do as a Community Coach. This also comes back to what I spoke about in this blog a couple of weeks ago, about finding the gold in this community. That ‘gold’ could be stored within someone who is known as a failure. My job – my privilege – is to help that person stand up again and continue to be what they were designed to be and not leave them as society has labelled them.
Thomas Edison, described as America’s greatest inventor, is best known for inventing the lightbulb but also invented an electronic voting recorder, the phonograph, talking dolls and tattoo guns. His most famous quote was the cover image for this week’s blog, but he also said this:
Failure is not just falling down, it is refusing to get up. Failure is not a dead-end street, it is just a detour. Failure is not a tattoo, it is just a bruise. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.
So who do you know who needs a hand up? Maybe it’s you? Why not give me a shout and see how I can help.
Dan Rous, Community Coach
firstname.lastname@example.org or 07444 873151