[by Colleen Wainwright]
There are no feelings I dread more than the ones accompanying failure: anger, frustration, and especially sadness are far less fun than the fist-pumping joy of success. No wonder I always want to skip them and go straight to fixing the problem.
What I’ve learned, though, is that when I don’t take time to mourn the things that haven’t gone my way, it takes even longer to get past the problem and into the solution. As awful as it can feel, when I really slow myself down and sit in the disappointment, I’m often able to see all kinds of things I might otherwise have missed: where I rushed something or skipped some steps. Where I spread myself too thin. Sometimes, it boils down to my having had unrealistic expectations.
Once I’ve truly processed something, I usually find I’m freed up to think much more creatively. Ideas flow freely, and they’re of a much higher quality than they are when I grind away without a break.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m human, and I’d still rather win than lose. But I’m finally understanding that part of being human is making mistakes. If I allow myself to be imperfect and to accept my failures, chances are much better that I won’t fail the same way twice.
Colleen Wainwright makes more mistakes in a morning than most people make in a month. Admitting it hasn’t killed her yet.