We’ve mentioned a few times how learning to fail helps you learn from your past mistakes, but blogger Dan Shipper argues that it also makes you less afraid of failing, widening your boundaries and making you attempt greater challenges.
The key is not only accepting failure, but accepting public failure — the less you’re afraid of other people knowing you failed, the more accepting you become of it. He describes using a simple example:
Take an M&M out of your pack, throw it up in the air and attempt to catch it in your mouth.
This is probably going to take every ounce of self-control you have to accomplish (at least it did for me). It’s a mortifying feeling waiting for that M&M to fall, knowing you’re being watched, and knowing that in all likelihood it’s going to bounce stupidly off of your mouth and hit the ground at the feet of the person in front of you.
But the point of this exercise isn’t getting the M&M in your mouth every time. The point is to fail in public. And to do it in a cheap, semi-spectacular fashion. Because once you know you can fail in public you’ll begin to break out of your box. Other meaningless boundaries seem more conquerable.
It isn’t, he says, about “being able to do anything you set your mind to”. We all have our limits, but chances are many of us haven’t scratched the surface of those limits because we haven’t tried — and the less you’re afraid of failure, the more likely you are to take risks. Check out the full post for more info — it’s a pretty good read. Photo by Hans Gerwitz.