Winston Churchhill said “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
In my days as a high school teacher I often encouraged my students in one particular class to fail. I want them to feel free and explore new methods to solving problems. That was the first class that would be writing difficult international exams, competing with top notch schools.
I told them to be proud of their mistakes. I told them that the more mistakes they made with me, in class, the less they would make when they were out there writing the real exam, or out there practicing their theory in real life.
Why did I encourage my students to fail? When I told them that they looked at me with disbelief, like I was crazy. At first. Then they realized and felt first-hand the advantages by being open with your mistakes. That particular class broke records with high scores on test results.
In our society “fail” is viewed as an offensive four-letter word starting with the letter F. Unfortunately the mindset that mistakes are poisonous often paralyses us into inaction. That’s unproductive in the long run.
Allowing yourself and others around you to make mistakes so that you can then use that information to create the best product possible, is efficient. It’s realistic, productive and produces a high-quality product.
Because once you are allowed to make mistakes you remove fear of failure. And that is when success is right around the corner.
How to start effective thinking:
Fail nine times.
The next time you face a daunting challenge remember firstly that you can handle it. If the situation has come your way, you are qualified and able to do a bang-up job!
Next, tell yourself, “In order for me to resolve this issue, I will have to fail nine times, but on the 10th attempt, I will be successful.”
This attitude frees you and allows you to think creatively without fear of failure, because you understand that learning from failure is a step toward success.
Don’t think that you failed when you do, because failure is inevitable. Accept it. Accept it as part of the process. Take a risk and when you fail, don’t beat yourself up over it or accept other people beating yourself up for it. Instead, extract a new insight from that misstep and correctly think, “Awesome: one down, nine to go – I’m making forward progress!” After your first failure, think, “terrific, I’m 10% done!”
Successful people have perseverance.
When we think of Michael Jordan, for example, most of us think “winner.” But for someone to have succeeded he first must have failed and learned from that. Winners aren’t just born that way. They train themselves to become that way.
How scared of failure are you? At the first chance of a potential failure do you stop the project? Do you put the child on the bench? Do you quit? Or… Are you the opposite? Do you use failure to your advantage?
Let me know what you think. Even if you think I am wrong and have made a mistake!