Unexpected Outcomes (otherwise known as “failures”).
I have wanted to start a little corner on this blog to talk about things that are on my mind and in my heart, but don’t necessarily have any SEO behind them. That basically means they aren’t really “searchable” on the interwebs. Writing has been something I have enjoyed doing since I was a kid (thank goodness because this blogging gig would be dreadful if I didn’t 😉). I would write short stories, poems and draw until my hand got tired. There was even a point when I would spend hours and hours copying out of encyclopedias in my notebooks. The topic was usually animals and I would fill those notebooks with all kinds of facts in my best handwriting. If my handwriting wasn’t up to par, I would tear out the page and start all over. Yep! OCD much? Have had it all my life. 🙂 This was fun for me.
One time, when I was taking a course, we were talking about finding your passion and what you love to do. Someone said that one way to find that is to look back into your childhood and try to remember things you loved to do as a kid. A lot of times, you will find that those things are still enjoyable to you as an adult in some way. This blogging journey has definitely been a testament to that.
For awhile now, I have been thinking about doing this here on the blog. Being an entrepreneur, mom, wife, chauffeur, coach, daughter (and many other things), brings about a lot of thoughts, feelings and emotions that I will often share on my Instagram page. IG is a great platform for little nuggets of inspiration, real talk and motivation when I need to spew something from my head or heart. A lot of people resonate with those posts and sharing them here on the blog gives me a bigger writing space to finish those thoughts and reach people who aren’t on Instagram.
I don’t want to over-commit and say I am going to do this every week. I will shoot for Fridays, but if I am not feeling it, I will not post it. And, if I have other commitments or deadlines, those will come first. I am hoping people can resonate with these posts and get a “good feeling” after reading them and heading into the weekend.
So, here’s to “Episode 1”.
Recently, I posted this on Instagram:
Working your butt off for something is amazing. But, when you don’t get the outcome you planned for, it can be the most defeating feeling ever. Failure is not fun and it isn’t a word I like to use. “Failure” is such a limiting word. .
When something like this happens, I immediately start analyzing everything and wondering what I did wrong. Why didn’t it turn out as I saw it in my head? What else could I have done to make it better? Now that I have done all that work and didn’t get the outcome I hoped for, now what? What is my next step? Maybe this isn’t for me? Is it me?
Instead of calling it “failure”, let’s call it an “unexpected outcome”. An unexpected outcome comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it is big and sometimes it is small. Either way, it doesn’t feel good. Instead of analyzing what went wrong, change the questions. Try these: What did I learn? What will I do different next time? Was this a good fit for me? What are 3 positive things that came from this?
Don’t make the unexpected outcome limiting for you. It is only “limiting” if you believe it is. There is so much that comes from things that don’t work the way you thought they would. You learn what worked and what didn’t. You learn how you handle it and how strong your willpower actually is.
Continue to work your butt off for the things you want. If you encounter an unexpected outcome, keep your head up and change your questions. You may find an answer you didn’t even know you needed. .
Give me a fist pump 👊🏻 if you have given something all you had and it didn’t turn out the way you wanted.
This all came up when I had a business idea give me an unexpected outcome (a.k.a. it failed). Not only did I spend a lot of time and effort on it, but I spent a lot of money on it as well. I was so frustrated when the outcome wasn’t nearly what I thought it would be. When you put your ideas out there and back them up with time, money and help from others, it is always scary. When you put something out there and immediately start thinking of how great it will be and how many people it will help and then, it doesn’t pan out the way you saw it, it can make you feel like giving up on so many levels.
I feel like when you work your butt off for something, you automatically think you will be rewarded or it is going to work out just like you planned. Why do we think that? Why do I think that? I want it to be “recognized” that I worked my butt off. I want to be “rewarded”.
It doesn’t always work that way and we need to change our attitude and how we look at it. We get more unexpected outcomes then we would like, but instead of looking at them like “failures”, we need to look at them as goal steps. We need to go through some unexpected outcome steps on our journey to reach our goal. If not, how are we going to learn? I have learned so much every time I got an unexpected outcome. I know now what I would do differently and what I would do the same. I learn more about myself through the entire process as well. I am someone who likes things to be planned. I want to know every step I am going to take when I do things. Unexpected outcomes mean that I have to be flexible and open to where the process is going to lead me. I am not always happy to do that, but I have to be. I am learning that it is okay to not have full control. The adventure lies in the unknown, the learning process and yes, the failures.
When I first started dealing with “failures” in business, it was devastating for me. I felt awful. But, when I look back on them now, not one of them was a failure. I gained something out of each and every one. Starting a business in a world you know nothing about is all about trying, failing and working through everything in between. It is all about throwing things on the wall and seeing what sticks. It is about learning the entire way and implementing things that you aren’t comfortable or equipped to do. Unexpected outcomes are part of the equation.
Unexpected outcomes are good in business and better for you. Being open and flexible to the unknown and embracing the entire journey is important and it is “expected” as you move forward.
Tell me… have you had failures in your business or work life that you thought were so bad in the moment, but now when you look back on them, you know why it happened? What did you learn from that experience? I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comments below.
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