The presupposition that there is no failure, only feedback is central to our ability to learn. It opens up our neural pathways. We become braver, take more risks, become more creative and thus innovation is born. You may well find that you are more open to learning if you accept that it is OK to fail provided that you learn the lessons.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison
“There is no failure. Only feedback” Robert Allen
“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently” – Henry Ford
“One fails forward towards Success” – Charles F. Kettering
“Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure.. it just means you haven’t succeded yet” – Robert Schuller
This circular process of observe, try, feedback, try again, feedback, try again, success is natural. Unless we try and very possibly fail, we never get the feedback that enables us to learn.
If we were to tell our children that they were failures each time they made a mistake, they would shut down and not continue to develop their thinking. But how many intelligent adults accuse themselves of just that on regular basis?! – and they often then go on present themselves in that light to the nearest audience.
Instead of it being wrong, we have learnt something. Instead of feeling bad, we are free to form a new plan of action and try again.
Thomas Edison said that he did not fail 1,000 to make a visible light bulb, rather he successfully identified 1,000 materials which were not suitable for making a light filament.