Have you failed lately? 7 Reasons You Should Try to Fail...

Therapists: Try to Fail Today

If you haven't failed lately, we might have a problem. It is tricky isn't it? As we get older and wiser, we can get more risk averse. That risk aversion is what makes our car insurance rates go down and gives us better professional judgement.


I talk to Master's and Doctorate educated people daily who are truly fearful of putting their thoughts down on paper. The fear is very rationally explained and explored, but at the end of the day, what does it really boil down to? It boils down to a fear of failure.

Educated therapists are fearful that their professional judgment will fail them or fearful that nobody will want to hear what they have to say, even though their work is centered around people paying them a large sum of money to explore with them, to hear their feedback. 


If you haven't done anything scary or outside of your comfort zone lately, give it a try. Decide in advance that you are going to fail, and you are going to fail big. Revel in it, have fun with it, enjoy it!

·         Failing means you are trying something new

·         Failing teaches you new things

·         Sometimes what feels like failing isn't actually failing

·         You need to get comfortable with being imperfect

·         Failing is an opportunity to explore your vulnerability

·         Sometimes when you expect to fail, you actually succeed

·         When you get over the fear of failing, the world becomes more fun



Newsflash: I'm not an amazing dancer. I can shake my hips ok, but I didn't take dance as a child, have never been in a recital, and do my best to look bored when learning line dancing or Zumba, even though my brain is frantically trying to keep up and not trip.

But, if I'm ever asked to into the middle of a dance circle, I'm going... and I'm doing it with flair. I've got my own signature dance move that is hysterical, completely uncool, and makes people laugh (actually I have TWO!). Sometimes it is ok to plan to fail creatively and have a good laugh along the way. 


I'm reminded of an awesome blog post I read about how to throw a great pity party recently. One of my favorite tips was to bring a friend along. Having a friend who is willing to try something new with you, fail with you, talk you down off a cliff, or talk you into taking a risk can make your world a sweeter place.

Surround yourself with at least a few people who aren't willing to let you be too safe, a few people who will challenge you to get outside of your comfort zone in a way that honors who you are. Introverts, choose carefully; you need someone who "gets you" and will challenge you in ways that mesh with your style of risk-taking! 


I get to talk to passionate therapists in private practice daily who are trying to figure out private practice marketing. Well, that isn't exactly true; most of them don't care about marketing their psychotherapy practice. What they really care about it is helping transform the world. They have just realized (and they are bummed about it) that marketing is necessary task. (Although they'd say marketing is a necessary evil!)

If you are going to take a risk where you might fail, make sure there is a purpose, a reason, a mission behind it. Know your deep down "why" and let that be the fire that moves you forward when it's scary. Or as some of my clients like to say, behind closed doors of course, "When sh*t gets real”.

Go out today and attempt to fail! Make it happen! Post your attempt to fail in the comments below. How will you commit to attempting to fail this week? 

Miranda Palmer

I have successfully built a cash pay psychotherapy practice from scratch on a shoestring budget. I have also failed a licensed exam by 1 point (only to have the licensing board send me a later months later saying I passed), started an online study group to ease my own isolation and have now reached thousands of therapists across the country, helped other therapists market their psychotherapy practices, and helped awesome business owners move from close to closing their doors, to being profitable in less than 6 weeks. I've failed at launching online programs. I've had wild success at launching online programs. I've made mistakes in private practice I've taught others how to avoid my mistakes. You can do this. You were called to this work. Now- go do it! Find some help or inspiration as you need it- but do the work!