What Being “Willing to Fail” Really Means

These days, many people know it's okay to fail.* They understand that failure is an essential part of any ambitious path, and also a fantastic learning opportunity. They also know that if you’re not failing at least some of the time, you’re probably not taking enough risks. This failure-is-okay viewpoint is reinforced by many inspiring quotes by brilliant people, including: "He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. - Herman Melville “Go on failing. Go on. Only next time, try to fail better.” - Samuel Beckett "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill (There are zillions more.) So, to repeat: these days, many people realize it's okay to fail. Or do they? It turns out that many who think they're prepared to fail, really aren't. Underneath, they still crave success. It's a good bet that they've defined success perfectionistically--meaning, that any outcome short of "fabulous" is unacceptable. And that they're … [Read more...]