Failure is interesting. It has yet to be my experience of meeting anyone who does NOT have a failure story. There can be so many different emotions wrapped up in failure. And because of that, stories of failure are not something with which we tend to "lead" in conversations with new people we meet. In other words, when I meet someone for the first time, I don't tell them about the time I failed on a test and how it affected me.
But what if we did lead introductions with failure stories? Failures instantly make us vulnerable. And human. It's hard to be fake when telling a failure story. And because everyone has a failure story, that means everyone has something in common right off the bat- it instantly demonstrates a connection. We all know what it is to fail. If you are working with a team of people, how would that instant connection shape the work environment, do you suppose?
I also love the idea of leading off conversations with our biggest failures in life because it's often our failures that shape us into the people we become. In some instances they are our origin stories. If we were superheroes explaining where we got our powers, we would likely have to start with a failure story. From the experience of failure itself to the way we respond to it, how we navigate not having the outcome we wanted (aka failure) teaches us so much about ourselves and what we're really made of. Our failures give us our power!
Still not convinced? In the video below, I share a conversation with my husband, Dr. Scott Harding, about failure. Of course we're not meeting for the first time, nor are these stories I've never heard before. However, we do take a deep dive into how failure has shaped us, how failure has actually led us on our life paths, and how we have used failure to understand what we do and do not want in our lives.