If you don’t try, you can’t fail. If failure is bad, the unavoidable corollary is, you shouldn’t try.
The more I see, in many different aspects of life, the fear of failure is an overarching concern for most people. Kids are trained to avoid failure, our education system make failure the worst outcome. I suspect the “failure focus” of the education system is simply a failure of the education system, a binary outcome that is split into failure and success, easy to administer, easy to assess.
As I get more into the entrepreneur thing, one of the things that is really apparent here is that the price of failure is relatively high. you will lose your cash. You. Try and fail? It costs you. There is no recognition that by failing, you should have learned valuable lessons. That failing sets you up to succeed later down the line.
A fear of failure means people have major incentive not to try. I think, for a healthy society, we need to cultivate an atmosphere, from school through business, through life, where failure is not seen as a negative, but seen as a positive, someone trying to exceed their current limits
But we don’t. We don’t try to support people where the chance of failure is high. We are focussed on ROI, not return on trying. We expect that people have learnt enough to succeed, without supporting them through the very learning process that sets them up to succeed.
And no. They won’t learn that at university
How do we start changing the way we see failure? When do we celebrate the people who try and fail, and try and fail again, and when they finally succeed, don’t forget the contribution of failure? Somehow, I think we have to for NZ to succeed. We need to remove barriers for those people who are trying new things, where the likelihood of failure is high. Can it be that hard?