Learning to be more pro-failure

Here is some food for thought. When you try to learn a new skill, how long do you keep at it before you give up? What about a project? If you start a project and results keep coming out kinda meh, do you drop it and walk away? Do you only try things if you know you’ll succeed? I ask these questions, because I’ve learned how you answer them really reflects on how well you do in life.

These questions touch on how we handle and perceive failure, and the attitude you take is very important. We live in a failure-phobic society. Failure and success are treated as a very black and white topic. The rules are you either succeeded or you didn’t, and if you didn’t, that’s something to feel ashamed of. This kind of thinking is a bit toxic, because it makes you afraid of failure, and then you limit yourself.

You see this is in an inability to take chances. You won’t try something unless you are certain you will succeed. In some cases, this just means you won’t discover how much you love playing the tuba despite being terrible at it, but in other cases, it can mean that you can never become that amazing (insert dream self here) that you’ve always wanted to be.

The way to tackle this problem is to take a more pro-failure attitude. Incredibly successful people do not see failure as the absence of success, instead they see it as the act of becoming successful. This means you try something over and over again, each time not fully succeeding, but getting better with each try. In time, you gradually see better and better results, and you recognize that success and failure is more of a progression than something you are or aren’t.

Trying to adopt a more pro-failure attitude can be challenging, but the secret is to value effort and courage over success. This means doing things even if you suck at them, and never being afraid to try something new. This is especially true, for some endeavors, where you’ll fail over and over again, and you will only need to succeed once to be an incredible success.

So, in the future, be more pro-failure. Try playing a game you know you are bad at, take a chance and learn a new skill, and don’t give up on something if it doesn’t immediately go your way. You’ll be surprised by what you learn about yourself, and in time, you’ll feel a lot of pride. There’s definitely something inspiring about a person who’s fearless in the face of failure.

 image provided by Kate Haskell

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