About a month ago, I saw this video on Business Insider. It’s an interview with Sara Blakely, CEO of Spanx. She talked about when she was a child, her father would ask the children on the dinner table about how they have done today that they totally failed at. He practiced it to the point that all the children would fight to share about their most epic fail of the day.
This particular story stuck with me. Coming from the Chinese culture, children are always expected to do everything perfectly, or sometimes punishment awaits. The idea of celebrating failures is such an opposite from my upbringing, yet so luring.
After becoming a trailing spouse and an entrepreneur, I have learned to push myself to embrace failures. Looking back, I had a lot of objective capacity to take risks and absorb the consequences of failures. However, sometimes it took me longer to take action because the prospect of failing brought a lot of anxiety. In other words, the negative emotions associated with failing at something stopped me from trying.
I hope that one day I will be able to replace those negative feelings with exciting ones, like how those children were conditioned to think about failures as something to be proud of.
In this episode, we talked about how to build a system to help us celebrate failures:
- Emotional safety net – having support from spouse and friends, and healthy relationships
- Financial safety net – having financial cushion to take risks or weather emergencies
- Humor and laughter
By the way, we switched from Blab to Youtube Live because Blab has closed down. (RIP Blab!) We no longer appear on the recording at the same time, which is a shame. Let us know how you feel about this new format and we’ll see what we can do to improve the quality of the recording.