• Linda Buchanan, Ph.D.

An Atypical New Year's Resolutions: Fail

Updated: Feb 23, 2019

Surprised by that statement? So was I when I first began to read a post on Medium by Danny Forest. He talks about how he made his goal for 2018 to be to fail as often as he could. This meant that he was going to branch out into new areas in life and try things he had been avoiding  - knowing that it would naturally be awkward and bring failure at times. He says that it’s one of the first resolutions he’s ever kept and that he is a new person because of it.

As I continued to read his post, it made a lot of sense. It really doesn’t work to attempt anything without the risk of failure. It’s safe and comfortable but it happens much too slowly if at all. Also, as we know from neuroscience, our brain is wired to learn more efficiently through negative than positive experiences (better to know where the bears live than where the daffodils grow).

Consider the wise words from these accomplished people:

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” - Albert Einstein  “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” - C.S. Lewis “If you’re not failing every now and then, it’s a sign that you’re not doing anything very innovative” Woody Allen “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” - Eloise Ristad “When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” - Ellen Degeneres “Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” -Henry Ford

Okay, I’m sure you get the point. This idea is nothing new. Yet, although there are hundreds of quotes like these from all times and walks of life, we still let the fear of failure control us! So what would you do differently right now if your overall goal was to increase the incidents of failure over the year? I would love to hear from you. Please scroll down to the bottom of this page (past the banner of recent posts) to leave a comment.

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© 2019 by Linda Buchanan PhD.   Website by Nancy Steffke.