Ep 16: For When You Fail
I've wanted to do this episode for a while, since this is a big topic for me personally. I'm a perfectionist--which means I have the highest rank in hating to fail (perfectionists love winning). And no matter how many inspirational quotes I see about failure being necessary for success, being inevitable if you're up to something big, or being not an option, nothing helped me cope with my fear of failure. So I wanted to make something that would.
Basically, I wanted failing to suck less--or, preferably, not at all.
Whenever I set out to do something new or uncomfortable, my brain freaks out. We can't suck! It says. But, when you're new at something or when you put something out there, it's going to suck. Either by your (incredibly high and harsh) standards or by someone else's.
And so: You've set yourself up to fail. Like an asshole.
Which means there are so many articles in my head that I didn't write or episodes I didn't publish out of fear of failure.
Like this one! I recorded it last August with one of my best friends, Allie (I get to why I picked her in the episode--she's basically an expert.). When I first listened to it, I couldn't even get through the recording. I hated it. All I could hear was my hesitancy, my missed questions, my inexperience. My failure. I couldn't put it out there and have you see it, too. That's, like, double failure--which is the worst kind of failure.
So I put it away.
But I kept thinking about it.
Then, I was running out of episodes for Season Two to publish. I didn't have interviews lined up before Wednesday, so I had no choice but to pick up the big fat failure and try to turn it into something. I (after much procrastination--which got its own episode) sat down and started editing.
But it was different. It wasn't bad, it was...good? Don't get me wrong. The episode had its failings, but it wasn't a failure. WTF happened?
Oh, don't worry, I'm gonna tell you.
When I first listened to the episode, I measured failing by how short I fell of my own (incredibly high and harsh) standards and also falling short of yours. But after putting a few episodes out there again--and therefore risking failure at least once a week--I started working a different muscle. One that still thinks failure by those standards stings, but not as much as not putting it out there.
I know, just like the quote!
So, turns out, failure isn't supposed to not sting (grammar!). But we can get to the place where it stings less than not trying.
Stuff we refer to in this episode: