Mon, Jun 30, 2014
You have heard this a million times: Fail fast. Fail forward. Learn from your failures and move on.
As someone who failed miserably a gazillion times, let me tell you: Failing sucks. Really, really badly. There is no fun in failing and when you’re in the moment there surely is no “Oh yeah — I failed. Awesome. I learned something. Now lets quickly move on to the next thing.”
What you need to understand though is: Failure is inevitable. Nothing would have ever been invented wouldn’t it have been for previous failures. So you might as well learn to cope.
“Failure is inevitable. Give yourself a defined time to deal with it, then put it behind you and move on.”
And here’s where it breaks down for me: I believe you need to grieve. You need to be angry. Sad. Fucking annoyed with yourself and the world. And then move on.
The best piece of advice I ever received for dealing with failure is from a friend who’s a professional athlete (competes in the 5k to marathon distances on a national level): Whenever he lost a race — he gave himself one week to deal with it. One week to be angry, annoyed, sad. One day to yell, throw things around, swear that he would never ever again put his running shoes on. When that week passed — he’s back. Doesn’t look at the past and focusses on the future. No hard feelings. From there on it’s all about the next race.
P.S.: Brad Feld just wrote something very similar. Great read!