Failure is not “the f-word”. The inimitable activist and speaker Kimberly Ellis and powerhouse author Jo Piazza reminded me of this during our “Just Start” conversation in the clubhouse last night. I don’t shy away from talking about my failures when I tell my own story to people. Still, I backed off saying it directly when asking these two incredible women about how their own failures have shaped them.
Kimberly was quick to remind me: our failures are the starts of conversation. Every failure is still moving a line forward. It’s not that it’s not painful — it is — but so many of the things we consider failures just need a perspective shift.
Not every progressive woman running for office this election will win, but the more names we see on the ballots and ideas we hear discussed, the more will run next time.
Not every company we start will succeed, but the more women who start companies — even…especially…when they feel unqualified — will change the ratios in a room full of entrepreneurs.
Not every book we write will be on the bestseller list, but when we remember to celebrate the small victories along the way (thank you, Jo!), they don’t all need to be.
What you see as failure, others see as victory. And they’re right.
When we talk about the times we need to just Press Send — and I loved hearing from those of you who need that nudge — we must also recognize that the reality will not live up to the fantasy. You can’t let fantasizing about the project create fears that hold you back from the beautiful failure along the way.
Take it from me: failing hurts and it helps too.
Hope to see you at Festival this weekend. Until then, a suggestion: take care of yourself with a classic feel good playlist.