Learning to Fail and Move On

I’m not used to failure. There are lots of things I’m not very good at. Even a lot that I suck at. So don’t think I’m saying I’m perfect. Far from it. But I’ve got a long history of avoiding things that I’m not great at! Good at math – major in math at college. Bad at sports – quit while you’re ahead. Good at programming – become a software developer. Bad at art, music, dancing – avoid them like the plague.

So I’m not used to failure – simply because I’ve created a life that avoids things I’m not good at. When everything works like it should, then its always roses! But when things do occasionally not work out, then I have no clue what to do. And while I’m a bit of a rebel in some ways, I really want to please everyone else even more. So when failure occurs with others involved, I get really stressed out!

And a failure happened today! It’s work-related, so there are others involved. I want to fix it and make it work. Afterall, I said before that I identify more as a problem solver than a software developer. So its kind of a double-whammy when something that involves software fails and I can’t solve the problem! And even worse when its high profile and my team very much depends on it to work.

I know in this case its not my fault. And its completely out of my control since its really an external 3rd party vendor that led to the failure. I could even truthfully say that I had nothing to do with the selection of this vendor. I can say even more in that I recommended a different path. But that doesn’t matter and I know it. In the end it still is a failure on my watch that I cannot fix at all.

So I need to learn to move on. And I need to learn that failure is ok. And that no one blames me or thinks less of me. And that I still have a future. I know all those things in my head, but its still hard. This is a lesson that I need to learn from. Maybe I can learn that its ok to fail in other ways too. There are a lot of unknowns in my future – and that’s ok, even if there are failures to come.

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