I have been saying a lot recently stuff like....
"I honestly don't care if this fails".
"I will take full responsibility of this fails".
"This test will have probably an 85% chance of failing".
My earlier self back in high school, college and most of my working life would NEVER say that F word. Failure was not ok. You didn't even want the option to be in your head at all.
Failure would mean I couldn't get into a good college. It would mean a tough conversation with my parents. It would mean I wouldn't be on par with my classmates. It would mean that I could get fired from my job. It would mean that my co-workers would think that I couldn't hang.
Failure was BAD.
My acceptance of failure has totally shifted as time has passed. That has happened for a few reason.
1) I've failed a lot over the years and experience has shown me that life will go on. The failures have actually taught me a ton and been my biggest learning experiences in life. For example, I was "failing" at my sales role and decided that sales wasn't for me. I ended up shifting to go to business school, which was a very wise move. Failure guided me to where I needed to go.
2) If you never fail you probably aren't pushing yourself hard enough. You aren't trying enough new things. You are staying in your comfort zone and its hard to achieve greatness staying in your little cocoon. I like the quote, "a ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are built for". Going to business school when I'm not really great at school. Starting Sloane when I was already in pretty intense school debt. Going to Cincinnati to work at P&G not knowing if I could hang. Taking new roles that I wasn't sure I was ready for. Recommending something I knew wouldn't be popular. Risk of failure on all of those things were pretty high....and in the end they all made me better.
3) The new digital world is changing really quickly. You can start new businesses. You can track so much now with the data available, which can lead to incredible learning. People aren't watching much TV anymore, so you need to be aware of what they're paying attention to. Trends are shifting faster than ever. You need to be out experiencing these things or else the world will pass you by. I see people who have stayed in their comfort zone and seen that their skillsets just aren't relevant anymore. They would prefer to do it THEIR way forever, but that's not how the world works.
When you are putting yourself out there you are getting better. You know you are good. You know you can make it. That confidence builds and it actually makes you able to just have failures bounce off of you. You aren't as sensitive and scared anymore. You have experienced failure and made it, so what is there to be afraid of? Nothing.
Its a positive cycle. The first step is the hardest because that is when your armor isn't strong and the failures will have their biggest impact. You just have to believe in the journey and know you will pull yourself up every single time.
Another quote I like is "steel sharpens steel". Put yourself in the position where you are grinding against steel. Not butter. You will cut right through butter too easily. Grinding against steel will make you strong and sharp. Ready to destroy.