Dealing With Utter Failure – 5 Step Program

Imagine that:

 In the blink of an eye, your own hard work and the hard work of others could be gone in an absolute instant. You’re knee-deep in a project, and suddenly, without warning, the whole thing drops out from beneath you. In an instant.

This is the constant fear of anyone who has worked in any digital media platform for any amount of time. Whether you’ve forgotten to hit save on an essay for school, or watched in horror as your child spills an entire cup of coffee on your computer, you know how this feels. 

As a young, forgetful, and naive online-creator, I have run into my fair share of information-based mishaps. When it comes to working with theDIHEDRAL, I often get myself into situations I’m not fully experienced in. Every time we take on a new endeavor, we have to figure out things along the way and take on new challenges as they come.

Our podcast has definitely been one of these areas for me. I am not very experienced in audio recording, so listening to someone try and explain the software and gear often sounds like an alien language.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to learn how to deal with failure. I’ve had hard drives fail when I haven’t backed them up, I’ve spilled coffee on my computer, and I’ve had software cut out on me during a podcast recording session. So, from someone who does this a lot, here’s Casen’s five-step program to dealing with technological (or any kind) of mistakes.

  1. Calmly and quickly take what you know to be the best course of action to fix the problem
  2. Analyze how much damage is done.
  3. Notify any others working on the project of what happened and the damage that’s done.
  4. Collectively do your best to remedy or patch the damage.
  5. Analyze what you did wrong and internalize some precautions you can take for next time.

Dealing with situations like this can often quickly escalate into full-on self-hatred. It’s easy for me to attack myself for the areas in my life in which I need to improve. I’m unorganized. I move too fast. I’m forgetful. 

The key to this five-step program is realizing that ‘your best’ is all you have to give. You will never do anything more than the best that you can do. Try not to expect more from yourself than you actually have to give.

One of the most non-negotiable parts of these programs is step 3. You should ALWAYS notify anyone else working on the project of a mistake that may jeopardize the quality of the final product. It can be tempting to just try and patch the damage and hope nobody notices, but that is unsustainable, unethical, and almost never turns out to be a good move.

And ultimately remember, there is beauty in failure. There’s beauty in knowing our own negative traits. And the only real way to find them out is by analyzing your own failures!!

We recently released another podcast. I would absolutely love for you to check it out! From 6 months in jail to the mountain-tops, Andrew Joyner’s life is a testament to the notion that sometimes we need to fall in order to reach new heights!

Thanks again for reading. If you have any good technological failure stories drop them in the comments below! Would definitely make me feel a little less alone in this world. 🙂

Casen
Casen (Co-writer)

7 Replies to “Dealing With Utter Failure – 5 Step Program”

  1. I have a hard time viewing anything here as “failure.” A kid spilling coffee, a tech glitch, a software malfunction — those aren’t failure. I know because I am a HUGE success at failing! 🙂 You are right, though. Failure is our best teacher (if we survive it, so be careful) and ” ‘your best’ is all you have to give.” ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for checking out my blog! :)) Love yours! I like your five steps, they’ll work well, especially with the “do your best” part tacked on.

    I had a massive failure a couple of weeks ago. Managed to lock myself (I think?) out of my computer and forget (maybe?) my key (too-easy-thus-hackable?) passwords, including the one for my backup drive. Thankfully all was not lost, as my techie husband managed to rescue me from the swamps of despair.

    An additional tip, in my case at least, which your number does 5 cover: Attempt to maintain paper copies of your work! This incident me very grateful I had not actually “gone paperless” and burned my digitized paper journals as I’d once planned to do.

    When I’d thought all my writing from the past six years was lost, those old journals became more valuable to me. Also, I’ve learned to write down key passwords (and make them less guessable?) and store them in a (hopefully?) safe and secure place.

    Seriously love your blog! Thanks again!

    Liked by 2 people

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