After my last failure I got depressed. It stressed me out that I didn’t do a good enough job. All these things raced through my mind like “did I rush this?” “maybe I didn’t do a good enough job clarifying my vision?” “maybe I was plain foolish and everyone who said it will never happen was right?”

So I spent a few hours moping in my cell. I ate like a depressed housewife, a bag of marshmallows and caramels became my new wine. Ohhh, it got ugly folks!

But, I only let that go on a single night before I began looking for positives. It wasn’t long before I found plenty. I quickly returned to my studies, began searching out friends and peers. Put away the bag of marshmallows (I killed the caramels, they didn’t stand a chance!) and picked up my latest book. I couldn’t have been at a better chapter “Experiment And Take Risks” chapter 8.

The book I’m reading is The Leadership Challenge by Posner & Kouzes, 2007. The chapter I was on was talking about embracing failure as opportunity. Leaders do not mope or get hopeless. They see each mistake as an opportunity to learn something new! 

I read that and it invigorated me. I was already bouncing back from the depression. But more importantly, I was excited about moving forward. I wrote down notes on how I SHOULD be looking at the situation, which was the opposite of how I was. I wasn’t acting like a leader who overcomes and encourages others. I was acting helpless, which does nothing for anyone. 

I don’t want to go out and make mistakes on purpose, however, I am no longer afraid of them. I am going to anticipate as many of them as I can and the ones that surprise me are excellent learning opportunites! Truthfully, I cannot wait to learn something new, so why not learn skills I was actually lacking? What a better way to expose them than through actual experience? 

I would love to hear your opinion on this! I am sure there are excellent thinkers out there that have ideas like this. I want to hear them! I don’t want to stumble on them after the fact, I want to know before hand. Your wisdom is much needed, help a guy out!

With Love
Jeff Utnage