Awww, look at little Susie. She’s mastered crawling, and how she’s pulling herself up. What a smart little kid! Oh, look!! She’s letting go… she’s going to try to take a step towards me! Oh, come on, little Susie! You can do it! Oops, oh no!! She fell. Oh, man. What a total fail, Susie. That was lame.
We would never have this reaction to a toddler. So why do we apply it to ourselves? Do we somehow believe that by a certain time, we are supposed to know everything? If so, when is that, exactly?
It’s OK to fail when you’re a kid, but not by the time you reach college! No, no, that can’t be right. Everyone makes mistakes and grows in college.
Maybe when you get your first job? No fails are allowed then. Well, that can’t be right, either, because people are excited and ambitious and are better at trying new things in their first jobs, even if the outcome might not be what they’d hoped.
Mid-career? Hm. Maybe you’re a manager now. Maybe you’ve been in an industry for a few years, or even 10 years. You MUST make very few mistakes now. You ought to know better. There’s really no room for failure at that point…. right?
If you are interested in learning more about how fails correlate with growth (and lack of fails correlate with being stunted), and what you can do the fail the right way, then read on here.