The topic of fear and failure has been coming up a lot lately.  As I’m talking with consultants, coaches and entrepreneurs it is a topic being discussed openly.  My client, John Stagge, CEO of Scooch, an innovative cell phone case company, recently used this topic in a keynote to community leaders. DeShawn Wert, an ADHD coach is writing a weekly newsletter dedicated to the topic of facing your  daily fears.  In the Badass Women’s Council monthly meeting with my band of sisters dedicated to entrepreneurial endeavors, we throw the topic out in the middle of the table to cuss and discuss it every time we’re together.  Sometimes I wonder when this overt review of our fears and failures became so en vogue. For me, it was watching Brene Brown’s TED talk on shame and vulnerability. I knew the first time I saw Brene she would become a force.  Not only was her style warm and approachable, the topic of shame was something every single person has experience with.

Fear, failure, shame and vulnerability…… dark and ugly topics designed to keep you, me and the rest of the world from living our best selves, from walking into our purpose, from feeling day to day joy.

I’m proud to be part of a growing group of professionals no longer willing to deal with these topics silently; in our offices, in our homes, in our hearts.  Now we’re loud and proud about it.  That’s the key.  These dark and ugly topics cannot survive the light.  The light of our conversations, the light of our coaching sessions, the light of calling them out as a normal part of growth. As we walk through the hard work of growth and accomplishment and success. This is the kind of work I’m proud to be a part of.

Walking through the hard work of growth is what my work is about.  If you’re still struggling in silence, let’s talk. Talking about your fears and failures chases away the shame and allows us to be vulnerable and connected.  This is how we walk up the long incline of growth, we do it together.  And as I learned recently from Mike Bensi, author of The Success of Failure, we overcome these fears in learning how to talk to ourselves. This is profoundly important, when faced with the fear of failure, we talk to ourself FIRST.  Self talk, that nagging voice that follows us everywhere, absolutely everywhere.  If we can learn to talk to ourselves with more empathy, then we’ve taken the first step in growth.

QUOTE: The Success of Failure – A coming-of-age fable about overcoming failure despite ourselves.

 So by empathizing internally, we open ourselves up.  By strengthening our ability to empathize both internally and externally, we can take control of ourselves and our actions.”

This is my favorite quote from the book and and it comes from the chapter titled Starting Fresh.  Doesn’t that sound like a perfect way to start next week?  To start fresh; with a fresh perspective and a fresh invitation to talk to yourself with more empathy.  I vote yes.

The Success of Failure by Mike Bensi – Three reasons you should read this book.

  1. The quote above should be reason enough – I’ll list that as number one.
  2. I read a decent amount of business and self help books. I don’t know about you but I miss reading for pleasure.  I miss a good story.  This book is rich with business application and career advice AND it’s written as a story “A coming-of-age fable about overcoming failure despite ourselves.”
  3. This is a quick read rich with information.  Often, time is our scarcest resource.  Mike didn’t bother with a lot of fluff, he told a great story and he did it rich with insight.