Don’t Fear Failure – Learn From It

MANY of us live with fear. The fear of failure. And yet if you don’t set yourself new challenges, how will you ever learn about yourself and improve?

In Matthew Syed’s brilliant book, Black Box Thinking, he quotes a former headmistress at Wimbledon High School, Heather Hanbury. Heather was an advocate of failure, so students were able to challenge themselves more and therefore have a better chance of fulfilling their potential.

She said: ‘You’re not born with fear of failure, it’s not an instinct, it’s something that grows and develops in you as you get older.

‘Very young children have no fear of failure at all. They have great fun trying new things and learning very fast.

‘Our focus here is on failing well, on being good at failure. What I mean by this is taking the risk and then learning from it if it doesn’t work.

‘There’s no point in failing and then dealing with it by pretending it didn’t happen, or blaming someone else. That would be a wasted opportunity to learn more about yourself and perhaps to identify gaps in your skills, experiences or qualifications. Once you’ve identified the learning you can then take action to make a difference.’

Fascinating stuff. Still scared of failing? Don’t be.




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