In a coaching session with a leader recently, she explained that she was feeling very HEAVY over what she saw as a FAILURE.
I asked what failure meant to her, and as she began to answer, we discovered that she was actually defining failure as her IDENTITY, not as an EVENT.
This can be debilitating, and I was so excited we uncovered this somewhat subconscious definition of failure and provided her an opportunity to shift her perspective.
Here’s why viewing FAILURE as IDENTITY can be so damaging…
When someone views failure as identity,
- they are afraid of failure;
- they are more reserved, slower in decision-making;
- they tend to be perfectionists and struggle to finish;
- they sometimes tend to procrastinate;
- they typically have a lower level of self-confidence;
- they are less willing to take risks;
- they are less open to feedback (and thus, aren’t growing from feedback);
- they are often their own worst enemy.
Yikes! This is hard.
I don’t think any of us want this. And for those of you who read this list and think, “wow, that sounds like me!” I want you to know, it doesn’t have to be!
You can shift your perspective from seeing failure as your IDENTITY to seeing it as an EVENT…
Why is it important to see failure as an EVENT? Well, here’s what happens for people who do…
- they see failure as a temporary setback;
- they see it as a learning opportunity, a challenge to overcome (not debilitating or final);
- they are willing to make decisions and change their minds later as new info emerges;
- they have higher levels of self-confidence;
- they are willing to take risks and innovate quickly;
- they see feedback as a stepping stone to growth;
- they let things go more quickly.
Doesn’t that sound much better?!
This topic is something we address in the Coach Approach to Leadership program. It’s so important that leaders become self-aware about these kinds of internal barriers to success that have very external implications for their work and their life.
If this kind of coaching and self-discovery interests you, Contact me and we’ll schedule a chat!