In one of my very first posts on this blog, I posted about Fear – my fear of being debt free, and how I use procrastination to deal with it. However, I was having a conversation at work the other night, and the topic turned to fear, and failure, and how being afraid of failure can prevent you from trying new things. We were specifically discussing one employee I have who has difficulty accepting criticism and instead of looking at failure as a learning experience looks for people to blame in order to deflect the failure onto others.
This led to me thinking for a while about how I feel about failure – big and small. I don’t *like* failure (I don’t know many people who do!), but I do look at failure as an opportunity to learn and make better decisions in the future. I’ve had many “failures” in my life – my first marriage, several jobs, even a business or two (whose failures actually led to me having to sell my house, but that’s a post for another day). However, from each of those failures I have learned things. Even my failure to eliminate my debt is a learning experience – each time I fail at it, I look at what contributed to the failure, and attempt to correct that behaviour in the future.
However, one interesting thing that I got out of the whole conversation was this – if you are so totally afraid of failure that you will avoid it at all costs… you will really never try anything new! I’m currently waiting to hear if I will get an interview for a new job I applied for – it’s very different from what I’m doing right now, but I think I would enjoy it very much, and I’m sure, with a little time to grow, I would do great at it. Am I afraid of failing? Of course. I’m even afraid of failing at the interview! But I’m going to try anyway – because trying new things is part of life. And life is BORING if we keep doing the same things over and over!
How does this tie to personal finance? Well, in PF, the fact is, routine is often the key to success. But what makes those routines successful is all the failures that came first. By trying new things, new ideas, new plans, or systems, or even setting new goals, we can see what works, learn from what doesn’t, and keep moving forward. If all we do is stand still, we’ll never accomplish anything.
So I’m embracing my fear. Applying for new jobs. Scheduling unpleasant tasks I’ve been avoiding. Researching life changes that I really don’t want to do, because I’m more afraid of the effect of the unknown change than I am of the current condition (this one is totally related to paying down debt, so I’ll be posting about that soon).
On a positive (and exciting!) note – my missing bracelet from yesterday’s post? Was found!! It was located in another manager’s office that I spent some time in Sunday evening while at work, and I have it back in my possession right now. Thank you to all of you who commented!