UNDERSTANDING YOUR FAILURES IS HEALTHY, BUT NEVER ADDRESSING YOUR FAILURES IS CRIPPLING.
My blog ideas are intended to make people think and possibly make conversation that will hopefully bring some insight to business and life. I also hope that my blogs have inspired. It is often that people do not post or share the realities of life. How many times have you had a conversation that has turned into someone saying how much they suck at something? It is often that we "sugar coat" our lives and make everything seem perfect.
Why are we afraid to be real about our failures? I have never once in my life had a conversation with a business person, friend, neighbor, etc. about failure. We all want to write, speak, and share the accomplishments in our lives and the positives that have come from experiences. The reality is that we have all been failures, but it is a difficult pill to swallow. It makes us feel bad. It makes us look bad. It makes us want to crawl into a hole and hide. Instead of being real with others, we try to paint a picture of our "beautiful" lives and stories. We have all told a story that has made us look like a better person. True or not, we have all done it. Rarely do we tell a story where we are the "ass." The reality is that life is not always rainbows and unicorns. We all experience "dark times." But we are not afraid to paint on a smile, enter society, and try to make people believe that we are great.
LET'S BE REAL- I AM A FAILURE:
1. FAILED AS A PARENT It is too early to tell if I am a total failure as a parent, but I failed as a parent for about 6 years. I was always too busy for my kids and their functions. Always had to go work and never had time to throw the football. Never really showed compassion to my kids, but more anger and frustration when I was around. I always had something better or more important to do. I never made time for my kids and when I did I was frustrated. I thought being a father was just about providing for my household. I struggled to make time for my family ahead of my own motives and goals. 2. FAILED AT RELATIONSHIPS I was and still am terrible at keeping and building relationships with people. I do not get too close to people, nor let them get close to me. I am terrible at keeping in touch with people that are important to me. I struggle to build relationships with others and keep those relationships strong. I am terrible at keeping people in the loop. I am not good at building relationships or connecting with people I have just met. I meet them and move on with my life like it is a one time deal. I have failed miserably over the last several years to build and grow relationships with others. This has hindered me in business and life, as both are about building relationships and surrounding yourself with good people. 3. FAILED AT RECEIVING COMPLIMENTS When you complement most people, you expect a remark like "Thank you" or "That is very kind of you." For some reason my mind does not operate like that and it probably offends many people, but it is unintentional. When I receive a compliment, I usually respond with something I could have done better. It is rare that I will respond with thank you. I find that my brain turns off when I receive a compliment. I do not take credit for my work well. When I was coaching, a parent would compliment me with a, "nice game" sort of comment. My response, "The kids did good." When we are complimented for our work in business, I usually deflect the comments to my team doing a nice job. When I was teaching, a couple of my students wanted to nominate me for teacher of the month. I told them I appreciate the gesture, but I do not want the recognition. I love to compliment people, but for some reason I feel awkward when recognized.
4. FAILED AT CHANGE I have never been one for change and when change occurs I do not handle it well. I usually map out my day, and I have an idea of how long each task will take. When I deviate from that plan, I get frustrated. I do not like my days to be off schedule. Anytime something in my life changes, I struggle with the change emotionally. I can usually adapt to small changes, but the bigger they are the worse I am. Learning to adjust to change is something I envy about most people. I am slowly improving.
5. FAILED AT TRUST I have struggled to trust people. I have always had the mind set that if you want it done right you have to do it yourself. I rarely see the good in people trying to help me. I feel like people help because they expect something in return. I have struggled to let people who work for me do their job and I find myself micromanaging. That adds more stress to them and me. It is hard for me to let go and trust people to fulfill their tasks. In life, I find myself double checking people to make sure they are correct. When I ask someone to meet me and they are late, I assume they forgot or they are bailing on me. I have always struggled to trust that other people will hold up their end of deals. 6. FAILED AT PATIENCE One of my largest failures in my life. I have set my self up for failure time and time again because I rush a deal and do not plan accordingly. If I get behind in my schedule, I will rush to catch up and it usually ends up bad for me. I believe my lack of patience hinders my growth in business, as well as my life. I want things done in a timely manner, but MY timely manner. I want my kids to listen and do what I ask immediately. Rushing people around causes miscommunication and again ends bad for me. 7. FAILED AT COMMUNICATING I believe this to be my number one failure. I fail to communicate with my wife, kids, employees, customers, family, etc effectively.. My lack of communication often leads to misunderstandings with my wife, employees, and sometimes customers. Due to a lack of communication on my part, I ordered $500.00 worth of the wrong rock for a landscape job. When explaining to others, I often feel that I am unclear and confusing. This sometimes leads to frustration for me and the people I am communicating with. I have lost time and money due to my poor communication skills. Bad communication often leads to misunderstandings. Misunderstandings cost time and money.
8. FAILED AT DECISION MAKING Along with being a poor communicator, I struggle to make quick and good decisions. When asked a question, I have to process and weigh out the pros and cons before I make a decision. I cannot often make a decision on the fly. This frustrates myself and all involved. I have spent hours processing a decision in my head and realizing that it is actually a pretty simple decision to make. I am always thinking about the "what if" and "why" while trying to make a decision. Weighing options seems like a great quality to have, but when you have people (employees, customers) waiting for a decision it is easy to see their frustration. People ask for my opinion and instead of giving them a decisive answer, I often throw out too much information. Too much information often leads to an unclear answer. Failure is inevitable. Be willing to acknowledge your failures and put forth the effort to address them.