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by Vincent Ivan Phipps

For all of you perfectionist out there, who must get everything right the first time, you might want to take a deep breath before reading the next line;

It is good to fail!

Here are three reasons it’s good to fail:

  1. Failure proves effort. During a professional development assessment conducted by our leadership team at Communication VIP, we surveyed approximately 500 executive level professionals, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Seventy seven percent associated their success to being comfortable with progress over perfection. You can only do it right, if you have at least tried to do it. The first, second or eighth time might not get you the initially desired results, but successful people can look past the failure and take pride in the attempt.
  2. Failure improves skill. My Father told me, “You will never get better be receiving only compliments.” Consider something that you are good at doing: Cooking, performing, speaking, drawing, etc. As some point, you made a mistake and learned to avoid doing it. This awareness of avoiding the past failure led to increasing your skill for the future. Repeated mistakes are missed opportunities. Avoided mistakes of are learned opportunities.
  3. Failure increases innovation! I was hired to do some voice work with a promotional client. In under 6 seconds, I had to say, “Providing proven productions with poise, polish and professionalism to those wanting to perform at their peak!” Saying all those “P’s” in a row kept caused me to fail in my time frame. The client was becoming agitated, we were running out of rented studio time and I was quickly losing my reputation of being an effective speaker! We took a break. I was told by the executive producer, “We will do one more take. If you fail again, we will request a return of payment and find someone else.” I want to the parking lot and practiced in my car. I timed myself repeating the words at 3.5 seconds. I was talking too fast! I tried slowing down allowing my mouth to catch up to my brain. I inserted a short pause between a couple of words. Afterwards, I could easily say the full sentence in 5.5 seconds. I nailed the next take and everyone was pleased. In my book, “Lead Out Loud!” I have a segment on how pausing can add magic to presentation mistakes.

Remember that that next time you fail, you are really getting better!

-Vincent Ivan Phipps, M.A., CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) Owner of Communication VIP Training and Coaching