the F word: can we really bounce back from failure?

March 18, 2015
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This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Women in Leadership conference, a one-day event aimed at bringing together women from different career paths to “explore their potential and impact in today’s business environment.”

I attended a couple of workshops on networking and peer mentorship but what stayed with me most was the general theme of the afternoon leadership stories: failure.

It seemed everyone was focused on why we should not be afraid to fail. As a Millennial woman carving outa leadership role in a flat, transparent, and forward-thinking organization,you’d think that confidence in failure would be second nature to me. At Third Plateau we often calmly state, “build, measure, learn” while thinking through
an approach, a project, or a meeting. Part of building and measuring and learning
is allowing – almost expecting, things
to fail. But over the past couple of years, I have found it personally challenging
to be okay with failure.

Allowing
yourself to fail is harder than it
sounds
, and I think this is especially hard for young professional women.
This is by no means a new revelation. By now, people are expecting women to be
able to “lean in” left and right. But what is less talked about what happens
when we feel empowered in our workplace, we go after something we really want,
and… we fail.  How do we bounce back? How
do we get over the sense of embarrassment and/or disappointment?

While
it is great to have encouraging
anecdotes by powerful women
on how they have failed and succeeded, I wonder
how we can cultivate the confidence to glean meaningful lessons in the moment rather than years later.

this post brought to you by team member: anchal bibra