Guy Winch shares 5 excuses we make when we fear failure. For each, he describes what we’re really feeling, what we tell ourselves, and what to acknowledge so we can move forward.
His TED talk on why we need emotional first aid is witty and meaningful.
This was originally a post on my Business Heretics website.
There are two ways to succeed:
- things turn out the way we expected; or,
- they don’t, and we learn something from it
There are two ways to fail:
- we don’t learn the lesson from Success #2 above; or
- we quit before we have a chance to fail and achieve Success #2 above
Continuing the Theme of Two, here are two ways for Fail #1:
- we can’t find the lesson to be learned; we looked, honest, and we can’t find it; or
- we think Success #2 is actually failure, so we don’t even look for the lesson
If you’re doing it right, here’s how your business will look, from most frequent to least frequent:
- Success #2: it didn’t turn out, but we learned a lesson
- Success #1: it worked!
- Fail #1a: the lesson is impossible to discern
You’ll note that Fail #1b and Fail #2 aren’t even on the list. Eliminate Fail #2 by quitting after you’ve learned the lesson to be learned.
Eliminate Fail #1b by changing your perception of how the universe functions and realising that life is something you create, not something that happens to you.
#8 of only 12 sentences you need to define your entire novel.
Midway through the Attack comes the Second Pinch Point, where we share another glimpse into the evil of our antagonist. Just like during Response as our hero was flailing and failing, reveal another vivid first-hand look at what our hero is up against. As before, simple and direct is best.
Write one sentence describing this clear look into the antagonist’s actions and how it raises the stakes for our hero.
Tomorrow, #9: the All is Lost Moment.
#7 of only 12 sentences you need to define your entire novel.
Based on the new information introduced at the Midpoint, the hero shifts from wanderer, reacting uselessly, to warrior, attacking the problem head on.
The magnitude of this shift reminds us how significant the Midpoint is. A weak Midpoint makes the Attack less believable.
… more … “Attack (#7 of 12 Sentences)”
#5 of only 12 sentences you need to define your entire novel.
Midway through the flailing and failing of the Response is the First Pinch Point: the reader is given direct insight into the antagonistic forces for themselves. New information emphasizes, even raises the stakes. According to Larry Brooks, the simpler and more direct it is, the more effective it is.
Write one sentence which describes what new insight into the antagonist will raise the stakes, at least in the reader’s mind.
Tomorrow, #6: The Midpoint.
#4 of only 12 sentences you need to define your entire novel.
After the First Plot Point the hero reacts without success. For the next 25% of your book, they flounder, fight, and fail, reacting to this unwanted quest which has been thrust upon them. They are a wanderer, trying to make sense of the new world they find themselves in.
Write one (perhaps long and rambling) sentence which describes how your hero will flail and fail.
Tomorrow, #5: the First Pinch Point.
The double-fudge-loaded cheesecake derails your healthy eating habits.
Disturbed sleep derails your writing habit.
Surprises in your schedule derail family time.
Unexpected behavior from others derails your best intentions to be the best possible version of yourself.
Time goes into stealth mode and derails your blogging routine.
Some of those seem trivial. Others are major events. Each of us would rate each of them a little differently.
… more … “Back on the Rails”