Why I’m Choosing to Fail More in 2022

Yes, you read that right and it’s not a clickbait title. One of my intentions for 2022 is to put myself out there more. In my mind, the comfort zone is indeed a very comforting place. We do what we’re good at and the successes keep rolling in but I also believe it can be a stagnant place. And that the hits keep coming until they don’t…

The world is moving faster than ever and many things I’ve resisted in the tech space (my work in social media means I often spend time here) aren’t going away- hello IG Reels and TikTok. I can’t remember who said innovate or die but they’re right. Well, no one will actually die by not creating IG Reels, but holding on to things you like because they’re easy or comfortable won’t help you grow either. 

As a life coach and counselor, I know this and regurgitate it often so why was I not telling myself the same thing I tell others? Resisting the new might make you think you’re cooler than everyone else, but are you really?

One of the things I always say I’d tell my younger self is to be more courageous, so that’s exactly what I plan to do. Courage means putting yourself out there, getting uncomfortable, and yes even falling flat on your face occasionally. But all of that sounds better to me than being trapped on a hamster wheel going nowhere fast, so here’s what I plan to do. 

Make new things– The other day I watched a video of the late Virgil Abloh- the creative menswear director for Louis Vuitton who recently passed away too young from cancer. In the video, he was giving a talk at Harvard and he shared how he learned that he could just put work out there and if it’s good, it works, and if it isn’t no one really notices (or cares that much) and that by continuing to create, he could just keep getting better. I tell clients and kids all the time that people aren’t paying nearly as much attention to us as we think they are.

Just keep creating and getting better! 

Embrace feedback– Last night while watching the HBO series Succession, Kendall’s PR people breathed a sigh of relief when he made a decision not to do something that they’d all cheered him on with while secretly believing it was a horrible idea. My husband looked over and said “no one needs a bunch of yes people. You have to have people who will tell you the truth.” I know this but sometimes I forget. My daughter is great at this with me. She’s candid and helpful but I often resist and Ho-Hum and half concede. I’m a gut checker. I trust myself but the reality is while that’s important it’s also good to hear from people who are just a little more removed from the work (i.e not the creator). Instead of wasting time coming up with reasons not to make the change or implement the new idea, I’m going to embrace her role in my business quicker. It’s why she’s there. She helps me by challenging me to keep creating and by default I keep getting a little bit better.

So if you don’t have someone on your team who is willing to go against the grain I suggest you find one as soon as possible. You can’t take everyone’s random feedback to heart but you can find a trusted advisor whose advice you can wrap your head around.

Say yes to things that scare me with zest- Now I began the process of saying yes to things years ago and it has served me well outwardly at least, but this coming year I want to work on the inward part. I often accept a speaking engagement and worry about it ad nauseum for weeks. Or show up on set feeling like I just won a golden ticket. How am I even here? What if I totally mess this up? And again I worry about the final result. What if I fail? but the reality is I don’t! I may not be the most experienced or confident in the things I’m new at but they always turn out way better than I’d hoped and guess what with each butterfly tummy appearance I make I keep creating opportunities and I get a little bit better! So this new year I’m not only going to say yes, but I am going to embrace the Look at What I Get to Do mindset and I’ll say yes with zest!

In that aforementioned speech Virgil also said that failure wasn’t really a thing. “It’s as real as Halloween ghosts,” he said. “It’s a social construct that we impose upon ourselves.” So with that in mind what I really plan to do in 2022 is not set out to fail, but to do what I’d tell my 15-year-old self-be courageous! And if I fall flat on my face at least I’ll be falling forward!

Won’t you join me? Let’s keep creating new things that we love (and even trying some we don’t) while getting just a little bit better friends!

Wishing you a wonderful New Year!

Until next post,

Xo Tonya Parker

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Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

14 thoughts on “Why I’m Choosing to Fail More in 2022

  1. Oh my that’s such a wonderful goal. I actually want to join you now in failing more. I think that’s the biggest problem with my life, in that I always want to play it safe. Anyway, thanks for this post, and Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this! Virgil is right, you have to be true to yourself and keep creating regardless of who is (or isn’t) watching.

    No doubt you will continue to shine this year and all the ones to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for such an inspiring article. It’s right on time to help me take a deep breath and step forward with a big event I have coming up. Ready, set….. do it. xox

    Liked by 1 person

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