Like a lot of people, I love learning new things. There’s something cool about starting out not knowing anything about a topic, spending time learning about it, and then having an understanding that I didn’t have when I started. What’s even better is applying what I learned and seeing positive results. That’s the true value of learning.
But what about failure as it relates to learning? Have you ever thought of failure as a necessary step in the learning process? No one likes to fail. It makes us feel clueless, ignorant, worthless, or a whole host of other self-defeating feelings. I would guess that many people don’t even risk applying what they learn, or even attempt to learn new things, in order to avoid failure and all those negative feelings that come with it. We potentially miss out on so much because we’re afraid to fail.
What if we change our mindset to view failure not as a shameful and defeating event, but instead see it as a form of learning? Multiple times in the past several weeks I’ve heard the phrase “There is no failure, only learning”. That’s powerful! When we first set out to learn something new, we already know and accept the fact that we are clueless, ignorant, and worthless in that subject. And we’re fine with that. Why? Because we know that is the starting point of all learning. We show up with nothing. We also know that, as a result of learning about our chosen topic, we won’t be that way for very long. As we begin to apply what we learn, we soon find that we are becoming competent, knowledgeable, and valuable in our chosen topic.
Isn’t failure just part of the learning process, helping us discover what works and what doesn’t? If so, shouldn’t failure be seen as a crucial part of the learning process? I think so.
Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from attempting to cause something to happen. See it as a natural part of your learning process. And always remember, there is no failure, only learning.