Posts Tagged ‘failure’

Reinvent yourself for Success!

March 20th, 2018

Re-inventing Yourself – a necessity for many, especially for those over 50, but it’s vital for others, too.

 

For many people facing job-cuts and company reorganization, reinvention is key for continuing in the work force.  Unemployment is the catalyst for many changes.

It just may not be possible, especially if you are at the top, to  do exactly what you have been doing at same level of seniority (and pay, at least in Switzerland).

You will have to reinvent yourself.  This kind of change is possible, but also can be difficult.

Yes, we ALL can change

Based on research, I believe every person is able to change until their life on this earth ends.  So, my answer would be a qualified yes.  I will tell you a story about myself that illustrates this qualified yes.

An example from my teenage years

When I was about 14 years old I was a typically shy teen: bookish, reserved, pretty good at school and pretty uninterested in (most) sports.  But I wanted to be more “popular”, to “have more fun” the way I saw others enjoying themselves.  So, for a while I observed those who I considered more popular that were having fun, and thought about what they did differently than I.  I came to a simple conclusion:

They put themselves forward and volunteered more, for one thing.  They offered to do things.

So, as of that day of realization I began to volunteer to do things for others, starting with easy things and then gradually getting bolder so that, now at this point some five decades later, I volunteer to do the hard things, like pitching at startup weekends (last weekend).

This change simply began by raising my hand and offering my opinion, my time, my voice, my energy, and my creativity.  It actually began at a youth camp with my offering to organize a skit for everyone to watch and playing the “lead speaking” role in it.  Each little success led to another trial of something a little bit harder.

But not every attempt was successful.  Some of them were, of course, failures. Yet, when I tell most people who know me socially that I am an introvert, they are surprised because I have learned to act extroverted, I have learned to put myself forward and the risk involved has become less difficult for me.

I really do enjoy parties and being with people nowadays, but I still love time alone and books more. It took time to learn how to deal with the energy output, to coach myself on how to “do” these kinds of relatively unnatural activities.

The qualification to the “yes, you can”

You can re-invent yourself with a qualified yes.  We all have our general personality traits and we work from a starting point of where we are at.  Yet, we need to challenge ourselves and not use the excuse, “I am introverted and can’t do parties or “I am extroverted and can’t work/be alone.”

We are all able to do a lot of activities we don’t think we can, if we try and learn and try again, and keep trying until we make it.  But those activities may very well be out of our “normal arena of comfort”.  These new activities may drain us more than other more typical to our personality activities do.

Change is hard.  Change will not be easy for you, that is true, but if you want to keep working after being made redundant (especially after he age of 50 in Switzerland), change will be necessary for your success.

Re-inventing your career

When dealing with joblessness over 50, it is vital to re-invent your career, instead of working only within ones’ experience, training and/or personality borders, you will need a “Career Swing” of some sort.  Lately this topic has become more important for my friends and colleagues as the business and the economic reality of Switzerland’s landscape has been changing.

Essentially what the issue is, is that you need a good change process plan, based on the environment, your (realistic) expectations, and your abilities and boundaries.

You may change your type of work, the way you work (perhaps as a consultant), or maybe you will start your own business.  This will, then start even more change processes.  Of course, you may have to learn new things such as more about networking and using social media, too.

And what about your business, if you have one?

Finally, sometimes you need to re-invent or re-vamp your business or business strategies.  This kind of inventory taking for business should be done quarterly or twice a year at the least —depending on the business results from the last quarter and/or semester.

I would love to have an email (or otherwise, perhaps a Skype or coffee) dialog about this kind of re-invention.  Maybe you are anticipating a big change, or are in the middle of it.  No matter what, though, when dealing with this difficult change process, remember to start by asking yourself what works for others, what has worked for you in the past, and what might work in the future, based on the present situation.

You will then be on your way to a different future, and maybe even in a different place!

Have a great rest of the week!

Patricia Jehle                    patricia@jehle-coaching.com and www.jehle-coaching.com 

Also, should you be interested in joining my LinkedIn Group, SMEs Grow Together, go here: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7041402  or like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Jehle.Coaching/

Rough Life? Look at the Stars!

November 8th, 2017

So you’ve had a bad day, a bad week, a bad…. And you’ve thought about it long enough: What went wrong, what was my part, what I had no control over. You know what went wrong (or at least mostly). You’ve gone through the grief process long enough. Now what?

Get out of Your Own Way

Take Action

Time to take back your life and the control you have over yourself and your future, Set-backs and failure are a part of live and wallowing is the first step to change. But don’t stay there, or your wallowing in your failure can become (self-)obession! So, look up-

Look at the Stars

A friend of mine told me last weekend that once when she was fired her girlfriend said to her, “You have two choices, burry your head in the sand and go nowhere or look at the stars.” My friend chose to look at the stars and all the uncountable possibilities in her life. She has never regretted her posture, nor has she looked back. Onward and upward! You, too, should look at all your possibilities. Maybe you know that the writer of the song “Jingle Bells” had failed at a lot of things before writing this world famous song. This particular song was sung at me in a refugee camp some three decades ago by little kids who didn’t speak English and had never seen snow. “Jingle Bells” is a testimony to looking up and seeing the stars.

Look at the stars!

Get Creative

Everyone has part of themselves that holds a childlike wonder. Find that part of you and your inner child will help you become more creative with your possibilities because part of creativity is experimentation and play with options, sometimes wildly crazy ones. On Monday I went to the Female Founder Summit in Zürich and one of the speakers talked about how the “outliers”, the “crazy people” are looked for by business angels and venture capitalists, at least some of these types prefer outliers. Those are the people who are in touch with the child within them and are ready to play a bit, to experiment, to do something new. Maybe you need to play games, more. Maybe a walk in the woods paying attention to the changing seasons would be more you. Finally, maybe you want to draw (or doodle) your future as you would like it, and remember to include all aspects of your life.

Know Thyself

Remember to take time to listen to yourself, the stories you tell yourself and check them for accuracy. Often we tell ourselves stories that are partially (or even fully) incorrect. Remember to fact-check those stories with your accomplishments, experience, training, goals, and values. Remember your emotions are 1) neutral and 2) fleeting, so do not make choices mostly on your emotions, although a “gut feeling” is not the same thing, and that you should consider. A good exercise on values clarification might be a good place to begin getting to know yourself better.

I can help you with most of these above activities as a coach, and am happy to walk through your failures with you to help you look at the stars.

I wish you a great time of reflection and star gazing!

 

Patricia Jehle            patricia@jehle-coaching.com         www.jehle-coaching.com

Failure? Reflect!

October 31st, 2017

Resilience and Rumbles

Make good decisions by thinking and withholding judgement – do not go too fast!

What helps a person get up and keep going when something happens that is a set-back, big or small? What makes a person resilient? You’d be surprised. It’s not a “I’ve got it, I can do it. I’m okay.” I then stuff my feelings deep down and keep going.

 

It’s all those soft skills, or EQ:

 

  • It’s being honest and open about your feelings; it’s vulnerability;
  • It’s being curious where those thoughts and feelings come from and letting yourself go with them for the moment;
  • It’s being compassionate with yourself and with others when you fail;
  • It’s finding and acknowledging those false assumptions and putting a correct ones in it’s place;
  • And it’s learning from the mistake and putting new practices in place.

 

Brené Brown calls this the rumble.

Do you want to be a resilient person? Then this is what you need to start doing:

 

1) Be honest about your emotions

Be honest about what you are thinking and feeing, at least with yourself and those closest to you. Sometimes, we are not very adept at naming and understanding our feelings and then you can google a list, if you need to.

 

Emotions are neutral – one should not call certain emotions “negative emotions”. But they do show things about what is going on inside you. They give clues to what is happening inside and how you can change.

 

2) Get curious about the feelings and thoughts that occur when you have a “facedown experience”, a set-back

There is something that happened that might have triggered “old patterns” of response in you, that bring back the worn, over-played stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, about others and life, in general. We need to explore these responses to figure out what is really going on within ourselves.

 

To do that you

3) Have to give yourself – and others – some space to be human, some compassion

We are al human. We will make always mistakes and we will never be perfect. In fact, to really improve, we have to admit our mistakes. What an interesting puzzle. When you allow self-compassion and compassion for others to rule your way of dealing with life, you are able to see things more clearly. You are able to change and allow others space for change. We must remember that most people are really doing the best they can with what tools they have.

 

4) Watch false assumptions and stories you tell yourself. Don’t judge!

Often we tell ourselves false stories at this point, “I’m a failure!” or “S/He really doesn’t like me.” We assume way too much that is just not true. Some of the best coaching questions go in this direction, focusing on what we are assuming and whether or not it is true or partially true. We often judge ourselves, and others, much too quickly and often falsely, as well.

 

5) We must find and then put what is true into the place of the false assumptions and move on with those truths

When we live by what we know is true, we can become more resilient and, not only that, we can become more whole, as a human being. And that is a very good thing.

 

6) Finally, we have to think about our new learning points and put them into practice for “the next time”

When we learn things about ourselves (and others), we need to put those learning points into practice so they are not forgotten. Then those new insights can be applied for the next facedown experience. We know it is only a matter of time before another set-back, failure, another issue, will occur.

Time for reflection: What has happened to you recently that you should rumble (reflect) with? What were you feeling about it? What were your immediate actions/reactions and what were the stories (assumptions) you were telling yourself? What was really true? How can you live by the truth and not the false assumptions, and thus move on? What have you learned from the whole experience?

 

Enjoy your reflecting and rumbling this week!

 

Patricia Jehle

Blog: www.jehle-coaching-expat.com

Website: www.jehle-coaching.com

Email me: patriicia@jehle-coaching.com

We are works in progress

What to keep and what to give away (when to quit)

May 29th, 2017

The Art of knowing when to keep on going and when to quit.

Maybe you are doing some (business) activity spring-cleaning and you need to think of what you want to keep doing, and what you want to stop doing. For business leaders this question is one to consider periodically, just as the rest of the world considers all their activities whether work-related or those relating to family, friends and hobbies. Here are some ideas on when to continue with something and when to quit.

When is it time to quit and change?

WHEN TO STAY WITH IT:

  • Your idea is great, your strategy is perfect, you are doing the right things AND life is good, or looking good, at least
  • You – and your team – have the right competencies (or are willing to learn them, fast)
  • You are focusing on the most important things, the ONE thing really (always remember that 80/20 principle, -spend time on the activities that help the most)
  • You have a decision-making process already in place to decide if and when change needs to happen, you already do and are willing to change
  • Your systems are workable and they also allow you to focus on your one thing
  • Your income is greater than your expenditures- remember to always keep score of your successes and failures
  • You are still very passionate about your idea and you are moving forward with it

 

WHEN TO GO and TRY SOMETHING ELSE

  • You have been misunderstanding the signs (here’s a most awesome TEDtalk on this: http://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong# )
  • You idea becomes more important than anything else, including other people, especially those close to you. (Are you willing to lose everything to make your idea succeed, and if it still fails, what will you have left?)
  • Your cons now outweigh (even if they don’t outnumber) your pros
  • You can’t answer important questions, like, “Why are you doing this? Why is x, y, or z happening? How did you miss that?”
  • Your short cuts are cutting you and the business short and you are not doing “the job” right
  • You have tried “everything” and it’s just not working
  • The market has changed since starting and the future does not look positive
  • The only things keeping you from quitting is your pride and your fear (This is important!)
  • You have continued financial and other losses with not much change for the future in sight, even with bootstrapping, cutting costs and trying everything you can everywhere you can
  • All that extra work you have done has not made a difference and you still have little or nothing to show for it
  • Your priorities have changed and you have a different view on your idea and your work
  • There are probably other very good reasons, too, that you can think of.

 

Some more points to consider:

Seth Godin wrote abut quitting in The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) and in it he mentions the difference between a cul-de-sac and a dip, pointing out that when you face a “no way out” situation with a business, it’s time to cut losses and move on to something new.

Make sure you have TIME to choose

Sometimes you just need a break, a refocus and then you can continue, perhaps with only slight changes. If this is possible, it may really help your business idea. Take that time to think, refocus with a coach, mentor, or a mastermind board and then continue moving.

 

WHEN YOU DO QUIT, DON’T TOTALLY GIVE UP: REFOCUS, STRAIGHTEN YOUR SHOULDERS, and MOVE ON TO SOMETHING EVEN BETTER

Mistakes are part of being human, and it is no shame to make them. Remember a failure is not forever and it is (usually) part of your future success. The moment you learn from your mistakes is the moment you are on your way to the next better idea. The moment you accept it isn’t working, admit it and move on, you are already moving in a positive direction.

Remember, quitting the wrong activity enables you to start the right one. Your next idea might just be the perfect one, and if this present one is weighing you down financially, with your time and energy, emotionally, you may not start the next best idea.

A positive attitude of winning, even when you fail, is the key. Be true to yourself and your values and abilities; think positively about yourself even if you fail. Accept and own the quitting and then move on. Be thankful for what you have, what you have learned and remember that the next idea might be your best.

Reboot: take time and think

As Kenny Rogers puts it in his song,

Every gambler knows

That the secret to survivin’

Is knowin’ what to throw away

And knowin’ what to keep

‘Cause every hand’s a winner

And every hand’s a loser…

 

May you “hand” be a great winner. I wish you much success with it!

Your fellow business gambler,

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehl-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

We are human, after all

December 19th, 2016

Failure

Have you made some mistakes, well, good! You’re human. So am I!

It is not the mistake or the failure that is the problem. Learning how to avoid failures from previous ones is the way to get ahead. Below you will find a list of 10 causes of failure, taken from Napoleon Hill (from Think and Grow Rich) and modernized for today. Quotes are from N. Hill.

n-hill

Causes

  • Unorganized, “no time”

“No genuine leader is ever “too busy” to do anything which may be required …”

  • Pride

“Truly great leaders are willing … to perform any sort of labor which they would ask another to perform.”

  • Entitlement
  • Fear (especially from “followers”)
  • Uncreative, lack of imagination
  • Selfishness

“The leader who claims all the honor for the work of his followers is sure to be met by resentment.”

  • Intemperance (Hill’s actual term)

Intemperance causes disrespect and “destroy the endurance and vitality” of those who indulge.

  • Disloyalty

“The leader who is not loyal to his trust, and to his associates, those above… and below him, cannot long maintain his leadership.”

  • Too authoritarian
  • Too caught up in “title” and reputation

“The man who makes too much over his title generally has little else to emphasize.”

 

Also, from a more business-oriented perspective:

The major error-shaping factors at each level of performance (Reason, 1990)

 

Performance-Level Error-Shaping   Factors
Skill-Based

I

1.   Recent-ness and frequency of previous use

2.   Environmental control signals

3.   Shared schema properties

4.   Concurrent plans

Rule-Based

II

1.   Mind set (‘It’s always worked before’)

2.   Availability (‘First come best preferred’)

3.   Matching bias (‘like relates to like’)

4.   Over-simplification (e.g., ‘halo effect’)

5.   Over confidence (‘I’m sure I’m right’)

Knowledge-Based

III

1.   Selectivity (bounded rationality)

2.   Working memory overload (bounded rationality)

3.   Out of sight out of mind (bounded rationality)

4.   Thematic ‘vagabonding’ and ‘encysting’

5.   Memory cueing/reasoning by analogy

6.   Matching bias revisited

7.   Incomplete/incorrect mental model

 

FROM: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-glossary-of-human-computer-interaction/human-error-slips-and-mistakes

 

Why it’s actually good to fail, if responded to correctly- learning with questions:

Why did it make sense that I/they/we did it that way? What was my/their/our part in the mistake?

 

These next few weeks are a good time for us to reflect, to think about the positives and negatives of 2016 and make a balance that is good: learn from the mistakes; continue the good; move onward and upward towards a GREAT 2017!

For a great read from The Entrepreneur on failure: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/286625

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year,

Patricia Jehle, Jehle Coaching

 

Should you want my annual report email me at patricia@jehle-coaching.com and visit my blog at www.jehle-coachingexpat.com and my coaching website at www.jehle-coaching.com