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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fail Well

Failing might be a meme on the internet, but it's also important to being a success in life. Seth Godin points out that failure avoidance is actually working against yourself. If you plan to not fail you are planning to not succeed. For without failure and the subsequent lessons learned, we can't achieve any measure of success.

How can you plan to fail well in your public speaking? First, start by doing risky things. Speak a form that you aren't used to. Practice story telling or joke telling. Speak from a script if you typically use an outline. Use an outline or even no notes. Act out a dramatic scene or talk to the kids (they will let you know if you failed).

Try other things that are outside of your comfort zone. If you're a preacher then join a public speaking club like Toastmasters where you can't talk for half-an-hour about the bible. If you're like me it will challenge you and cause you to fail. Take up a hobby where you learn a new skill then perform that skill in public where there's the high risk of failure.

Learning to fail publicly gives us the confidence to keep trying new things. Experimentation is the only proven road to success, but it's filled with potholes. If you experiment, you will fail. But you stand the chance to learn valuable lessons about yourself and your craft through the process.

How have you failed well? What important lessons have you learned?

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