Failing Constructively Is An Integral Part of Your WA journey, Perfectionism Sucks

Last Update: Sep 23, 2023

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Failure gets a bad rap in our society. From an early age, we are taught to avoid mistakes and feel ashamed when we fail. Our culture seems obsessed with success, awarding those who achieve goals quickly and effortlessly. my parents instilled into me as a kid that I had to keep striving until I was perfect.


But the truth is that failure is a necessary and invaluable part of the learning process. Without failure, growth and improvement are nearly impossible. Rather than being feared, failures should be embraced as stepping stones toward future success.


it took me a longtime to realize that this strive for perfectionism is a silly and unattainable goal . Behind every academic there are pushy parents, parents who don't realise that they are limiting their child's growth and ability to succeed.


All inventors have failed. Every great invention took time to develop an expand. I am guessing the first wheel was more square shaped than round. In fact here is a little story thanks to AI

Inventing the Wheel Part 1

It was on a dreary night that a stroke of brilliance came to me. For so long I had struggled to transport heavy sacks and stones across the harsh terrain. But as lightning cracked the sky, I saw the solution - a circular slab that would roll across the land, carrying my burdens with ease!

In my workshop I feverishly sawed and carved circular discs of wood, manically trying different shapes and thicknesses. Alas, my first attempt was far too bulbous and unwieldy. My second prototype was too narrow, cracking under the strain. For many fortnights I toiled, my hands growing calloused and clothes soaked with sweat. Some slabs were too large, some too small. Some shapes were ovular or misshapen. Many shattered into splinters upon the very first test.

But finally, after months of obsessive labor - success! I had crafted a wheel of ideal symmetry and sturdiness. As thunder boomed, I fastened the wheel to a cart and piled it high with sacks of grain. With trembling anticipation I gave it a push - and the wheel rolled true! The cart glided effortlessly across the rough earth. I threw back my head and cried out in maniacal triumph, knowing I had changed transportation forever!

Soon orders came flooding in for more of these "rolling wheels." In the high tower of my castle I worked tirelessly to improve upon my invention, solving problems and finding efficiencies. My failures had shown the way to achievement. Now mankind could transport untold quantities of goods across lands near and far. All thanks to a brilliant spark in the darkness of night! The village whispered I had been touched by demonic forces to create such an unholy device. But I knew the truth - persistence in the face of failure had given rise to something revolutionary!

Look at Who Has Failed Before you

The most accomplished people throughout history have often failed their way to success. Think of Michael Jordan being cut from his high school basketball team, or Oprah Winfrey getting fired from her first TV reporting job. Rather than giving up, they analyzed their failures, made adjustments, and ultimately triumphed. Thomas Edison famously failed thousands of times before successfully inventing the light bulb. He is quoted as saying, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” This growth mindset allowed Edison to view failures as learning experiences, not sources of shame.

Paralysis by Analysis

Failure is feared by many because it can make us feel incompetent and damage our self-esteem. When we fail at something, it is easy to start questioning our abilities and talents. Failures can make us feel like imposters in our roles, especially if others around us are succeeding. Admitting failure can feel like a blow to our self-confidence and sense of self-worth. Additionally, many fear failure because it means a loss of external validation from others. When we fail publicly, we may worry about disappointing people like family, friends, colleagues, or mentors who believe in us. The embarrassment and shame of messing up in front of others can be overwhelming. Failure also means falling short of standards and expectations we set for ourselves, which can deflate our confidence and lead us to feel dissatisfied with our performance. In short, failure puts our competence, external reputation, and sense of pride on the line, which is why it's so frightening to many people.

The intense fear of failure can be crippling, trapping people in stagnation and preventing personal growth. When we become too preoccupied with the prospect of failing, it stifles our creativity, willingness to experiment, and ability to take risks. We miss out on opportunities because we are paralyzed by the fear of coming up short or making mistakes. Anxiety over imagined failures keeps us stuck in our comfort zones. To reduce fear of failure, it is important to reframe how we think about failure itself. Rather than viewing it as a disaster, failures can be reframed as valuable learning experiences that provide feedback. It is also helpful to remember that failure is inevitable and happens to everyone - it is not a sign of inherent flaw or lack of capability.

Challenging perfectionist tendencies and developing emotional resilience to criticism and setbacks can also equip us to face failures. Starting small to build confidence can be a good strategy when taking on risks or new challenges prone to failure. While rejection still stings, remembering it is not a reflection of self-worth makes it easier to develop a thick skin. By accepting that failure and rejection are a natural part of growth and learning, we can release their paralyzing grip over us.

Not all failure is created equal. Failures can either be constructive or destructive depending on how one responds to and frames the experience. Constructive failure is when one fails while challenging themselves to grow and improve. It stems from taking risks, experimenting, and pushing limits wisely. Even though the outcome falls short, a constructive failure provides useful insights and sparks personal growth. There is an understanding that failure teaches rather than defines. On the other hand, destructive failure comes from recklessness, lack of preparation, or avoidance behaviors. Rather than learning and adjusting, destructive failures reinforce poor self-esteem and irresponsible decisions. The failure worsens the situation or brings harm. Constructive failures are framed as temporary setbacks on the road to improvement, while destructive failures feel like definitive proof of inadequacy. In constructive failure, the experience is the focus. In destructive failure, the emotional response of shame overshadows any potential for education. Reframing all failures as constructive is key to overcoming fear of failure and using it to fuel achievement.

Taking steps towards your goal no matter how small is more important than being paralysed by fear. If you start to build your blog and you take a wrong term, then guess what - you can backtrack and change it. Guess what you get if you do nothing - that's it you will get nothing. Just get on with it and see where the amazing ride takes you

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Recent Comments

46

Thank you, Catherine,

Thank you for sharing how making mistakes is not always a bad thing, I made many of them before joining WA in the past. I am back now to promote WA to the world, how I made the mistake of leaving years ago

We learn from experimenting,

Jeff

Great post, Catherine!

Despite my academic background, I was raised in a very laid-back ethnic Italian home where we were expected to have fun as children.

Success vs. failure was not something we concerned ourselves with.

So, the pursuit of excellence in school or perfection in anything was not a big deal. Being respectful and well-behaved were our biggest requirements.

I started out in college as a music major and ended up in science, graduating with an undergraduate degree in chemistry- what??

I’m still trying to figure out how that happened. Lol 🤣

Frank 🎸

Lucky you Frank your background sounds idyllic, and pasta as well.

Yeah, I really cherish my family, ethnic upbringing, and childhood! 😎

So you should and what a legacy to pas on as well .

Either way You look at it
Frank, You succeeded at
Finishing College and the
Knowledge you have can
be applied to what ever You choose. You are a very creative and Gifted young man.

Your Success Is Awesome,
Peace And Blessings My
Friend !

😎👍👍👍

Thanks, Tony! 🙏

Super appreciated! 😎

Rock On! 🤘
Frank 🎸

Thank you Tony, I could not agree more

Thanks, Catherine! 😎🙏

Frank 🎸

You are very welcome Frank. I value your contributions to this awesome community

Awesome Frank !

😎😎👍

With all forms of failure, I would go with the constructive failure! Although who is to say when the emotional failure takes over, as with every attempt for success, emotions go with it.

It’s a good thing that we can reframe failure, get up, do it again. As what Thomas Edison did when he invented the light and discovered 10,000 ways that would not work!

Thank you for this post Catherine!

Cheers,
Maria 🌹

Thank you Maria

I love your blog on not failing! I live by the rule that if I hit more than 70% of my goals, they weren't set high enough!

Definitely correct

Perfection doesn't exist Catherine!!

It is a myth just as the "Round Table" and the twelve great knights (or whatever they are called were)!!

Our own destinies rely upon one person only.....

No matter what anyone else says... it is down to us and us alone.....

Take care in the Central American outback my friend!!

👍😎

Yes indeed we are alone in the sense we can only succeed by putting in the work. Having said that even the most confident amongst us can be slammed by doubt at times

It's hard to disagree with you there Catherine!

Take care ok my friend!

Not allowing one to fail or make an honest mistake then
Shaming them would cause Learning disabilities. Becoming a very slow learner. Making them feel discouraged and not want to try anything again. The name calling is like dumping more gasoline into a small fire but only to make it far worse. Child hood Learning through all my years from middle school to high school I
Had to struggle with this. High school Graduation was like Freedom to me . Moving on and to Learn things on my own without feeling pressure (Shame or Guilt).

😑😑😑🇺🇸

ADHD adults eventually conclude that there is no failure except in not trying! If I set my five-year goal of making an average of $5K monthly, and I average $4.6K, did I fail? Of course not! I'm still ahead at $4.6K per month over not trying! Did you fail even if you had to close the business because it just didn't pan out? Of course not, because now you know one way that doesn't work, which is one less than you need to try next time.

Thomas Edison performed the light bulb experiment 10,000 times before getting it right by sucking the air out of the bulb and replacing it with an inert gas to prevent the filament from burning up! Did he fail 9,999 times? No, because it was one attempt closer to success each time it didn't work.

Many ADHD folks were loners as kids as a defense mechanism. I spent most of my spare time alone in The Mesa, a wild 130,000-square-acre space where I learned to hunt, fish, and hone my sixth sense, a skill that served me well in the military!

Lower self-esteem comes with the territory in the life of someone with ADHD! It is not till they begin their journey to self-discovery that they create a new and improved self; that their self-esteem begins to rise exponentially!

I am proud to say that all of you in WA with ADHD have already begun your journey and are learning more about yourself with every step you take toward your goal! I am proud to be a part of your journey and for you to be part of mine. We are an emotional lot, and within the WA community is where we will thrive and succeed with a passion others will never know!

Tony, how sad you had to go through that, but at least in this community you can shine at your own pace

Yes , truly a person can
Grow here at their own pace with help and support from the WA community.

😎👍

Yes, I agree that too much over thinking leads to not taking Action at all. Perfectionism tends to make these things happen. Great Posting and right on Point.

😀👍

Tanks Tomy

You Mean,

Thanks Tony ,

Look's like a typographical error, but it's all good.

Peace and Blessings !

😎

You are absolutely right Catherine. Without failure we cannot grow and have no sense of direction. Thanks for sharing this amazing post.

Thank you

Catherine, I love the story that you weaved in.

Excellent writing, Catherine! The best I have ever read! 😀👍

Every word we write on our blogs inches us one step forward to “success” rather than failure.

That's the thing: no matter how hard we strive for perfection, we fail sometimes. I can't tell you how many times I wasted so much energy when I was younger.

I had anger issues about the fact there is someone who is a much better writer than I am. I set myself up for failure early on due to that.

If I got a B on the paper that I worked so hard on. I got 😡 mad. The B grade was unacceptable. I was not happy about it.

My professors scolded me about the notion of “being perfect.” I wanted that perfection. They explained my writing is excellent. It's my attitude and mentality that needed to change.

They taught me a great lesson about my cynical attitude. Instead of being angry, I needed to fuel and channel my energy to improve my writing abilities. Also, my negative thinking and attitude needed a severe change. Eventually, I did, it was hard work. And I learned from that.

Thanks for sharing how we can reframe our failures to “achievement.”

Those were tough lessons to learn but in the learning of them you have become more resilient and tougher, the formidable force you are today. Weirdly I never filed in business, I had the Midas touch with everything I touched, that is in physical businesses. Online I have failed many times but never given up

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