The course of action:

The intention was to make a paddle down the Grand Canyon. Volunteer to go first. Starting to paddle about thirty feet upstream from the big wave.

The result:

The boat flipped, not sideways, but end over end. Peter Bregman tried to swim to the surface but wasn´t sure which way was up. Finally, about 50 feet downstream, the river spit Peter out. When Peter got back into his kayak, he thought I´d be even more nervous and hesitant, than before. But it was the exact opposite. He was loose, comfortable, relaxed. The fear and uncertainty was gone. Peter felt refreshed. He felt the relief of failure.

The lesson:

Once Peter failed he knew he could handle the other failures the river might throw at him. He didn´t just know, he felt he could. Instead of visualizing success Peter Bregman suggests to visualize failure. Chances are, the event won´t go as badly as you´ve imagined. If the failure you´ve just visualized is as bad as it can get, then why not try?

Read Peter Bregman’s post on

Published by:
redactie IVBM based on a HBR post by Peter Bregman


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Why failure is an option..

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