Set goals to fail

Lifelog  •  25 Nov 2021   •  

When we think goals, we always think about it as a means to success, isn’t it? We set a goal so that we can achieve it, usually for positive betterment.

But here’s a crazy idea for goal-setting: when trying something hard and unknown, we should set goals for failure.

We should aim to fail.

And set a metric for the number of times we’ll fail.

Crazy, I know.

But not so crazy if you think about it: When getting out of your comfort zone, it’s normal to expect to fail. We’re stretching ourselves, and in the process of learning, mistakes and failures are inevitable. If you didn’t fail, it probably isn’t out of your comfort zone!

But most of us are so hardwired to avoid failure, that the prospect of not getting it right the first time actually hinders us from achieving the goal in the first place.

So in setting a goal for failure, we dive head-first into failure, fully expecting to fail, so that when we actually do, it doesn’t affect us as much as it does if we were to try avoid it. It gets the apprehension out of the way. Manages expectations.

Caveat is of course, we don’t have to go out of our way to hit the failure metric. Just do your thing, try your best. Just don’t brace yourself for failure. Fully accept and expect failure.

Like how, when it comes to tweeting to grow an audience and market my product, I should expect that for every 10 tweets I send out, 9 will fall flat. No engagement, next to zero likes. Maybe 1 tweet will get some engagement. Out of 100 tweets, 1 might actually go viral, 99 won’t.

With that mindset, we fail forward to succeed sooner.

So, set goals for failure.

You’ll succeed sooner than you expect.