When you set your mind to learn something, the first phase of excitement is often followed by a realization that the new habit doesn’t come naturally to you and failure is imminent. At that point, you have two options.
One, you can revert back to the old habit because it’s familiar territory and make a case for why the old habit is there in the first place. Alternatively, you can give in and learn to lose until you have enough practice to win. You can and need to make this choice almost every day in your growth process.
A Good Example
At Moko, we wanted to be radically candid in all our interactions both at work and outside of work. One of the key parts of radical candor is to directly challenge someone whenever they are not doing something up to the set standard.
The natural tendency for most of us is to keep silent and hope that that person will figure out what they did wrong. But for us, using investment in loss, we’re learning that developing a culture of radical candor means constantly practising this new habit even if it proves painful for some of us in the beginning.
So how does failure + failure = success?
When you try the first few times you will sense failure. You might get thoughts such as, “Wow! Have I become the person that’s always dishing out negative comments?” “The comment I made felt too direct.” “The person didn’t say anything.” “I did not like that they got very defensive.”
When you fail you’re tempted to go back to the old-silent you. But in reality, success lies in that constant failure. It takes a lot to let go of your urge to always be right today. It’s about giving yourself to the learning process.
Using the radical candor example, the more you practice, the more you realize that people actually do appreciate hearing what you think about their actions. It helps them to know their blind spots. We’re still in the learning phase but we think that at the end of the journey we’ll realize that the version of us, the one that challenges issues directly, will be a better one.
Quote of the week:
“Be willing to be burnt time and again as you sharpen your sword in the fire.” (The Art of Learning)