Failure is fascinating.
At the moment, it is destructive. You are emotionally crushed, feeling, well, like a failure.
Sometimes, the best disinfectant of that feeling is making that failure public. It doesn’t feel like it at the moment because most of our socialization points to people being “after us.” The truth is, most of us are good, and discovery of each other, especially in good faith, are stepping stones for all of us to grow.
So being vulnerable in the moment and exposing what you failed at, and the lessons you learned doesn’t just help you. It helps the community to which you belong.
All it takes is a moment to forgive yourself and the courage to show yourself for who you are.
Here are my three most significant failures of 2017, and how I plan on growing at this point.
Protecting myself at Philosophie. At a certain point, I stopped looking for improvements in the name of self-preservation. Instead of trying to solve problems I saw that did not concern me, I let them rot, covered in my resentment from not feeling heard. The result was a somewhat more protected Adam externally, some lingering bitterness internally, and a company that isn’t that much better from when they hired me.
Improvement: Find small things I can improve over the next six months, look for places of ownership, and being honest about my reservations with leadership. Action and communication win out in the end.
My weight loss plateaued. Instead of losing the weight I set out on, I stopped around mid-year. This plateau even continued when I ratcheted up my workouts to 6x a week because I ate whatever I wanted.
Improvement: A renewed focus on what I eat. Rebalancing a meal plan, making a promise to be more public with what I eat (feel free to reach out if you want to keep me accountable for this)
I didn’t ship enough work. I started the year with a goal to write twelve essays. I ended up with two. The feedback on both has been fantastic, which tell me I need to do more, including more outreach. The basis of all of what I do requires the work as the foundation, and I didn’t hit the targets I set.
Improvement: Set concrete, public deadlines for essays. Connect with media outlets on medium and pitch something at least once a month (external accountability). Do podcasts around the ideas of those pieces (Q&A and critique)