Luv the Flub

by Marcy Heim on February 24, 2021

Have you ever screwed up?

Have you ever failed? Of course you have. And it can be terrifying. Will you be forgiven? Will you lose your job? Can this be fixed?

feeling failure

As you head into March and the start of year two of these remarkable times, you need to be growing major giving relationships, hosting events and interacting with colleagues and family still differently.  We tend to cling to “we’ve always done it this way” because it’s safe. It’s the devil you know. What if the new approach doesn’t work? What if you make a mistake? What if something really bombs?  And, it will probably be more work to re-think it to boot!

Let’s create a mindset that shifts you from fearing failure to loving failure. I’m not suggesting you get flip about failure. Rather consider using these four steps adapted from a session I did recently with my coach, Marisa Murgatroyd, that she called Learning to Luv the Flub.

These times are forcing us to experiment!  There will be mess-ups but these mistakes are what get you to the good stuff. New ways of connecting and being that only times like these force us to take a chance on. In my coaching sessions I’m encouraging folks not to cancel – rather to recreate! Experiment!  

Making a break through

As a biochemist by training, I spent HOURS in labs – hours.  We’d set up the experiment and have at it. OFTEN it didn’t turn out like we had predicted so we’d tweak one, maybe two things and go at it again.   When you look at your life and your work like a scientist, you’re no longer taking things personally. Instead you’re experimenting and collecting feedback on what works and what doesn’t… until you discover what REALLY works.

Edison quote

So now click here for this as a worksheet to walk you through the steps to conduct a simple flub experiment.

Step 1 – Identify a flub.

Whatever it was, in your mind you see it as a fail.

  • Maybe you didn’t get out thank you letters timely
  • Maybe you totally messed up with your kids
  • Perhaps you tanked facilitating a zoom event
  • Maybe you pushed too hard on a donor and fear you offended her
  • Maybe you failed to get 5 donor “visits” set up for the coming week…again

And maybe it’s weighed on your mind, or even kept you from doing other things because you’ve thought “Well, if I can’t do THIS, how can I possibly do THAT!?”

Step 2 – Identify 2-3 things you learned or took away from the Flub you identified above.

Failure is just a part of life and it’s happens to ALL of us. Every single one of us.

By shifting your attention from what’s NOT working to what IS working, from where you messed up to what you can learn, you’ll start to Luv the Flub and Fail Forward.

Did you learn…

  • When I get the letters out, I am lifted up! It’s really never too late to say thank you and action now will be welcomed.
  • I care so much for my family and most of the time our relationship is great! I need some sort of STOP mechanism before I react.
  • This new virtual stuff is here to stay and I am engaging and warm even on the zoom.
  • When I let the money-pushers in my organization influence how I work with a donor instead of being authentic and following the donor’s timeline it doesn’t turn out well. I need to be my donor-centric self!
  • I have certainly set up appointments in the past that have led to nice major gifts for my organization. I can do this.  

Step 3 – Based on the Flub you chose in Step 1, identify 2-3 things that you’d do differently next time. 

While it’s great to focus on what is good around the mistake, you don’t want to repeat it. So what will you do next time to prevent it?

Before there is a next time I will…

  • Create a way to get the info I need to write the letter. 
  • Next time I will take a deep breath before I react to my kids. It will delay the harsh words.
  • Learn how to make it work by blocking an hour to do zoom tutorials.
  • Make a call to say I fear I overstepped and my real goal is to have you happy and delighted with your giving – that with a sincere apology.
  • Explore what is happening in my thinking as I approach setting up visits with a mentor, coach or colleague. Am I pre-determining my results?

Are you starting to see how much wisdom there is in failure? Can you see how important it is to identify both your Worked Wells (Step 2) & Do Differentlys (Step 3)?

Because — remember — it’s not about making the mistake, it’s embracing what you can learn from that mistake.

Step 4 – Tell this whole experience to someone else.  This actually gives you victory over it. 

So often we go into hiding when we fail.

We feel embarrassed or ashamed and that causes us to hesitate or withdraw even more, which makes us even more afraid of making mistakes. When you share your mistakes and failures, you realize they’re not as bad as you made them out to be. You talk through how it will be different next time and you give others the chance to help you grow and invest in your success and to feel a kinship with you in the laboratory of life!

But here’s the thing. You can’t just roll your eyes and say, “Yeah, Yeah, Marcy – I know all this – look for the good, reframe the bad.”  All work we do with our minds must be intentional and from a place of being present – not a half-hearted review. If your research is sloppy your results will continue to be failure-prone.  The fears and insecurities will resurface and cause you to miss-step again.

For you, I want joy, excitement and energy as you do your part to grow a better world.  Learning to Luv the Flub is key to embracing ALL the experiences on your journey!

Invest in JOY®

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