“Open for Business_Opening to the Gifts of Failure”

 This is from Molly Gordon who I enjoy.  I’m going to try the victim/player exercise with a situation I’m experiencing now.

"Unpack the gifts of failure as you review the year past and plan for the year ahead.

How do you respond to failure? How do you feel when you realize you’ve made an error of judgment or violated your own standards?

Personally,
I hate it. And nothing irritates me more than a happy-talking,
self-appointed New Age pundit who’s getting rich telling me that
everything is perfect and failure doesn’t hurt.

Bull. Failure
hurts. I ought to know. I’ve failed at business, love, and living up to
my own ethics. I’ve failed as a sister, a daughter, a wife, and a
coach. And not all of these failures are in the distant past. There are
some doozies from times more recent than I care to mention.

Still,
I do claim there are gifts in failure. In fact, I’m pretty passionate
about this because I figure that anything that hurts as much as failure
darn well better have an up-side.

A few years back I
single-handedly destroyed the motherboard on a perfectly good computer
by (wo)man-handling a new memory chip into a slot I couldn’t quite
reach. I’d installed memory before and I knew what it should feel like.
I asked myself again and again if I shouldn’t just maybe stop rather
than forcing something that was designed to slip in easily. Impatience
won the day, and after spending $300 for attempted repairs, I replaced
the computer.

At that time I didn’t have money to burn (still
don’t, in fact). Yet I’d been working on right livelihood for a long
time, and I somehow realized that this time I simply could not afford
to take a nose-dive into a bottomless pit of guilt. (As the oldest of
eight children, raised Catholic in a military family, my guilt pit
truly is bottomless. I’ll match it against yours any day.)

So I
decided to reframe the "waste" of money as a lesson. Since the amount
involved was sizable in my world, I further resolved that this lesson
needed to be fully worth the cost. With this in mind, I arrived at the
following resolutions:<!–
D(["mb","

\r\n \r\n

1.\r\nFrom this moment forth I will stop pretending that I can\’t afford to\r\nhave professionals maintain my equipment. After all, my do-it-yourself\r\nproject had a four-figure price tag.

\r\n \r\n

2. From this moment forth I\r\nwill measure the intensity of my impatience against my willingness to\r\nincur a four-figure expense. If giving into my impulse is worth\r\nfour-figures, I\’ll go for it. Otherwise, I shall forbear.

\r\n \r\n

3.\r\nFrom this moment forth I will celebrate my failures and set-backs by\r\nnoting the degree of resilience, humor, and humility required to go\r\nwith the flow.

\r\n \r\n

4. From this moment forth I will respond to guilt\r\nby acknowledging my errors and rectifying them as simply, cleanly, and\r\nquickly as I can. From now on, I\’m staying out of the pit.

\r\n \r\n

This\r\nwas a pivotal moment in the development of my business. From that point\r\nforward I lived those resolutions to the best of my ability, not to\r\npush away embarrassment, guilt, or disappointment, but to use these\r\ndiscomforts as the fuel for growth. Something in me stands taller,\r\nbreathes deeper, speaks more clearly as a result. I may not like\r\neverything I do, but I know longer have to run away from myself. That\r\nmeans I always have a place to stay, ground to stand on, and for me,\r\nthat is a huge part of authenticity.

\r\n \r\n

The brilliant economist and\r\nbusiness consultant Fred Kofman teaches an exercise you can use to\r\nexperience the kind of shift I described above. I\’ll summarize it\r\nbriefly here, but you really owe it to yourself to get Fred\’s tapes, Conscious Business.\r\n\r\nThe set is $40.77 (with free shipping) from Amazon, and I promise you\r\nthat it is worth a hundred times that. One reader wrote me, "My wife\r\nsays this is worth $4 million if it works." He ordered the tape series\r\nand reported back that I had undersold it.

\r\n \r\n

Fred calls this\r\na Victim/Player exercise. Write your answers to the victim questions,\r\nthen take some time to notice where these questions take you. What mood\r\ndo they leave you in? What attitudes or beliefs arise? What options are\r\nyou left with for moving on? Then read and answer the player questions.\r\nAgain, notice where these questions take you. How is this different\r\nfrom what you experienced as a victim?”,1]
);
//–>

1.
From this moment forth I will stop pretending that I can’t afford to
have professionals maintain my equipment. After all, my do-it-yourself
project had a four-figure price tag.

2. From this moment forth I
will measure the intensity of my impatience against my willingness to
incur a four-figure expense. If giving into my impulse is worth
four-figures, I’ll go for it. Otherwise, I shall forbear.

3.
From this moment forth I will celebrate my failures and set-backs by
noting the degree of resilience, humor, and humility required to go
with the flow.

4. From this moment forth I will respond to guilt
by acknowledging my errors and rectifying them as simply, cleanly, and
quickly as I can. From now on, I’m staying out of the pit.

This
was a pivotal moment in the development of my business. From that point
forward I lived those resolutions to the best of my ability, not to
push away embarrassment, guilt, or disappointment, but to use these
discomforts as the fuel for growth. Something in me stands taller,
breathes deeper, speaks more clearly as a result. I may not like
everything I do, but I know longer have to run away from myself. That
means I always have a place to stay, ground to stand on, and for me,
that is a huge part of authenticity.

The brilliant economist and
business consultant Fred Kofman teaches an exercise you can use to
experience the kind of shift I described above. I’ll summarize it
briefly here, but you really owe it to yourself to get Fred’s tapes, Conscious Business.

The set is $40.77 (with free shipping) from Amazon, and I promise you
that it is worth a hundred times that. One reader wrote me, "My wife
says this is worth $4 million if it works." He ordered the tape series
and reported back that I had undersold it.

Fred calls this
a Victim/Player exercise. Write your answers to the victim questions,
then take some time to notice where these questions take you. What mood
do they leave you in? What attitudes or beliefs arise? What options are
you left with for moving on? Then read and answer the player questions.
Again, notice where these questions take you. How is this different
from what you experienced as a victim?<!–
D(["mb","

\r\n \r\n

Victim Questions
1. What happened to you?
2. Who wronged you? How?
3. What should they have done?
4. What should they do now to fix it?
5. What punishment do they deserve?

\r\n \r\n

Player Questions
1. What challenge did you face?
2. How did you respond?
3. What did not work?
4. Could you have done something better or with more integrity?
5. Could you have prepared better (to minimize the risk or limit the impact)?\r\n
6. Can you do something now to improve the situation?
7. What lesson can you learn from the experience?

\r\n \r\n

Fred\r\nis careful to point out that the feelings that show up when we are\r\nvictims are real for us. This exercise, then, is not about invalidating\r\nyour experience. It is, however, a pointed invitation to accept your\r\nfeelings and then stand back from them so that you (your values, your\r\nintentions, your aspirations), and not your reactions, can steer your\r\ncourse.

“,1]
);
D([“mb”,”\r\n


Robin Scanlon
scanlon@eyeoftheislands.com
808.597.8068\r\n\r\n“,0]
);
D([“ce”]);
//–>

Victim Questions
1. What happened to you?
2. Who wronged you? How?
3. What should they have done?
4. What should they do now to fix it?
5. What punishment do they deserve?

Player Questions
1. What challenge did you face?
2. How did you respond?
3. What did not work?
4. Could you have done something better or with more integrity?
5. Could you have prepared better (to minimize the risk or limit the impact)?

6. Can you do something now to improve the situation?
7. What lesson can you learn from the experience?

Fred
is careful to point out that the feelings that show up when we are
victims are real for us. This exercise, then, is not about invalidating
your experience. It is, however, a pointed invitation to accept your
feelings and then stand back from them so that you (your values, your
intentions, your aspirations), and not your reactions, can steer your
course."

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