Good Read: Why You Should Give Yourself Permission to Screw Up

Originally posted on #GovLife.

Vicki and I were fortunate enough to see Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson give a talk about this article in September at the 99u pop-up school.

From my experience, failure (or mistakes) is talked about a lot as an idea, but I don’t see many people actually talking about their failures. This is a problem. How can we expect to have a cultural change, where failure isn’t as scary, if we don’t talk about it candidly?

In her article, Why You Should Give Yourself Permission to Screw Up, HGH discusses, well, how we should allow ourselves to make mistakes: “Many of us are wary – though not always consciously – of doing things that are unfamiliar or outside our domain of expertise because we might make mistakes. But the problem is, we need to be expanding our skills and knowledge, continuously striving to grow and improve and going beyond our comfort zones if we want to be successful.”

She goes on to describe her ideas of a Be-Good mindset and a Get-Better mindset. The former tries to appease people on the outside and the self-talk often sounds like “I need to prove to them I can do it.” Whereas the Get-Better mindset focuses internally, and rather than try to prove your worth to others, you measure your worth to yourself . HGH describes it best with, “it’s the difference between wanting to prove that you are smart, and wanting to get smarter.”

My challenge to you?

Go out there, take risks. Share them with us. But possibly more important, let’s not skewer or publicly shame those who fail or make mistakes. That makes them wary of even attempting. If we want to build the community we say we do, we need to be accepting of people, flaws and all.

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