One of Jack Canfield’s Success Principles is to fail forward. What does this mean? It means to regard all events in your life simply as feedback. Yesterday I attempted to launch my first free phone informational series. One person showed up on the call. I was still thinking about failing forward and going ahead with the content of the call. I was using a new conference line that had the potential to record – but when I tried to start the recording nothing happened. And then, while I was talking to the one person who showed up on the call – I got disconnected. I got back on the call and talked with person who really just wanted to know more clearly what I was trying to create. It was great feedback. There was something missing in the messaging. People might not be getting on simply because they didn’t know what they were showing up for. Like being invited to a birthday party and not knowing whose birthday it is. I thought perhaps, maybe, even though the recording wasn’t working, someone else might show up. At this point I wasn’t really talking about the content I had intended – but it was still well worth anyone’s time in regards to understanding the importance of enrolling others in understanding the “Field of Dreams” you were creating. Then it happened. I got kicked off the call again. At this point my inner saboteur was having a field day!
Demoralized I got on the call one more time – the person on the call was ordering lunch, but still on the call! We agreed to talk privately and I ended the call. So I thought about all the things I knew going into the call. I was expecting maybe four people – with hopes that others would show. However I knew scheduling could be a challenge – so I had fully expected that people might try to tune in for the recording even if they could not make it in person. Once the recording technology for the website failed me – I realized that I could still record the content and make it available later. This would even give me an experience of creating my first “audio” program. Still a win. Somehow though, it didn’t feel like a win. Failing Forward felt like failing. Just failing. No forward at all.
So I reminded myself that to Fail Forward you have to take the lesson the experience offered and run with it. I also reminded myself that despite everything my “ego” wants me to believe – I am not my body, I am not my thoughts, and certainly not my successes or failures. So, if I was going to see a benevolent universe at work what would I find. What I found was that I believe in the content of the work. That the preparation for the call helped me solidify the concepts behind the Hero Factor. I also discovered that three other people had hoped to get on the call – two couldn’t because I had already stopped the call by the time they would get on, and the last one was hoping to listen to the recording. Then I remembered that a fifth person had also been intending to listen to the recording – having told me ahead a time she would not be on the call. What I realized, as was gently pointed out to me by a number of people who responded to my facebook post “The Skies Clear but my message was not” was that the message was clear enough to generate interest by five people… and that an audience of five is a place many others would love to have. In fact, an audience of five would have exceeded my own expectations. Simply because this was me trying something new. Doing something different than I have done before. Growing in the face of my own fears. Taking the risk to do something I have never tried to do before. So maybe failing forward isn’t really accurate. I was, in fact successful on many levels . I will be transparent in saying – it still feels like failing. The tendency to second guess – what if I had just stayed on the call longer. The way the brain tries to catastrophize – I’ll have lost my ability to get the message out because I didn’t stay on the call five minutes longer! That’s just the saboteur though. The one we all have. Trying to convince me that living in my safe zone is easier. It is, but it is also a space of emptiness. So here I go. Failing Forward transparently. Because fear and disappointment – those things don’t make H Factor Moments. However, if one allows them to, they actually can help fertilize the heart and fortify the mind for stronger and more well defined action. Being the Difference is not about getting it right. Being the Difference is continuing to do the work to provide yourself and others the opportunity for growth and transformation. Which also is how you transform fear and disappointment into a full speed failing forward H Factor Moment.