How to think smarter about failure

There is no success without failure, but the fear of the latter is what's really keeping you from achieving your goals.

  • What does it mean to be a failure? Failing is typically seen as moving in the opposite direction of a specific goal, when in reality, most achievements in history were made possible by a series of non-successes.
  • "The very concepts of success and failure are words that never really meant anything," says astronomer Michelle Thaller. She and others argue that successes and failures are inextricably linked, and that how we define them for ourselves is what matters.
  • As Ethan Hawke, multidisciplinary filmmaker Karen Palmer, entrepreneurs Steve Case and Tim Ferriss, executive coach Alisa Cohn, and others explain, finding personal success means taking risks, being willing to fail, and recognizing when—and why—things are not working. "Most things will fail, but that doesn't mean you're a failure," Steve Case says. "That just means that idea failed. And what can you learn from that idea and then move forward."

The social anxiety playbook: Defeat your demons

Some anxiety is natural, but it doesn't have to control your life.

  • Anxiety is normal, but there are situations where your body's fight or flight response can make social interactions overwhelming. Learning to quiet the fear of negative judgment can help you build confidence to better navigate those environments.
  • One of the first steps, according to Tribute co-founder and CEO Andrew Horn, is to find your authentic voice. By doing things because you actually want to and not for the sake of others, you close the door to social anxiety.
  • In this video, Horn and other experts including Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy, and Columbia University's Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders Director, Anne Marie Albano, discuss the evolutionary basis for anxiety and share tips for overcoming it through self-affirmation and other proven techniques.

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How to dissolve your ego—and why you should

Ever want to move forward but find you're in your own way?

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  • Many of us are held back by the idea of ourselves that our egos have built and will do anything to maintain.
  • Oftentimes this manifests as a fear of failure, an inability to start on new projects, or the evasion of responsibility.
  • Here we have five suggestions on how to keep your ego in check.
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Anthony Scaramucci: How entrepreneurs can manage fear in times of crisis

What's the worst thing that could happen, and can you live with that?

  • Anthony Scaramucci isn't afraid to admit his failures as an entrepreneur. The founder and managing partner of investment firm SkyBridge Capital says it's the journey that matters, and that being an entrepreneur means accepting that some things, including successes and failures, are out of your control.
  • A hard but necessary question that entrepreneurs have to ask themselves is if they can live with the worst case scenario.
  • In a time of crisis, Scaramucci's advice is to clear your mind, accept all possible outcomes, and to dial down fear-based instincts so that you focus on being aggressive in business.
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How accountability at work can transform your organization

If you don't practice accountability at work you're letting the formula for success slip right through your hands.

  • What is accountability? It's a tool for improving performance and, once its potential is thoroughly understood, it can be leveraged at scale in any team or organization.
  • In this lesson for leaders, managers, and individuals, Shideh Sedgh Bina, a founding partner of Insigniam and the editor-in-chief of IQ Insigniam Quarterly, explains why it is so crucial to success.
  • Learn to recognize the mindset of accountable versus unaccountable people, then use Shideh's guided exercise as a template for your next post-project accountability analysis—whether that project was a success or it fell short, it's equally important to do the reckoning.
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