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How can people get good at not being discouraged by failure?

Image credit: Elvira Tan family.org.sg

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 06, 2021
Is there a good way to train people not to take failure personally and instead see it as an opportunity to learn?
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Creative contributions

Track your failures turned into opportunities

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Michaela D
Michaela D Oct 08, 2021
I agree with the above comments and contributions mentioning learning about other people's failures. It is equally important to monitor our own failures and see how we grow from them, what we learn and what success possibly arose thanks to those "failures". This tracking could be through a journal, an app, or even a website where people are encouraged to share their own stories. By switching one's focus to what they gained from their failures, eventually, their mindset would change to see failures as opportunities and move ahead.

By learning about other famous examples of failure followed by success

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Oct 07, 2021
They could be told stories of every famous personality that overcame their failure by not giving up. Every time they feel like giving up, they are told a different story. There are several stories out there. Maybe the stories could be categorized and only the relevant ones (from their field of interest, based on the type of failure experienced) could be sent to the user of such a service or tool.
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MS
Miloš Stanković9 days ago
I would add video testimonials of regular people too for non-fame inducing achievements or lower levels of achievements. For instance, losing weight, or those who took up painting lessons but didn't reach fame or massive financial success yet did get personal satisfaction from it.

I also thought that the Leaning Tower of Pisa would be a cool symbol for the app, as it is an undeniable failure yet brought so much to the town and is possibly the most famous/visited tower next to Eifell's. Pushing the thought that even failures could lead to unforeseen benefits in the future, taking the sting out of them.

The app could be supplemented by quotes about failure and success. For instance:

"No progress is possible without trial and error. Not in business, not in science, not in nature. Without failure, there is no learning, no progress, and no success." — Naval Ravikant

With a popover over the name listing the companies the person was involved in or their most notable successes. Quotes are overused online but their strength is diminished by those posting them on social media accounts, bored Facebook aunts, fitness gurus, Instagram models... Within an app that is focused on not giving up, they would keep their initial power.



Change of schooling

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MS
Miloš Stanković Oct 07, 2021
A lot of the damage on this front is done in childhood. In school, when you fail, you get a red pen "F" or "1" of shame, compounded by the disappointment in the teacher’s voice and the anger of the parents. It makes failure a dreaded outcome that labels you for the time being, be it a semester or a school year.

There is a book How Children Fail by a former teacher John Holt explaining how the school system was designed to make kids scared of failing. That's why some experimental schools are now advocating for an educational system without grades. One focused on simply getting to the goal of learning and achieving the tasks.

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Povilas S
Povilas S5 days ago
That's a very good point. It's way better not to get the wrong mindset imprinted in the first place than to try changing it after when your psychology is already settled.

Companies cultivating a courageous culture

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Miloš Stanković Oct 07, 2021
  • Companies could set up a brief impossible task for the new person in the organization as a sort of a rite of passage. With a prepared positive response in order to show to them that their efforts are appreciated, not just the outcome.

  • If a company wanted to cultivate a fearless approach for their employees, weekly failure-sharing meetings could be arranged in order to normalize them. With the bosses starting first and encouraging making conclusions out of failed attempts, not excuses or apologies.

  • A framework that makes the number of failures an accomplishment and adding a bonus for the people who tried out the most original approach to their task. Something similar to the new rating system Brainstorming is looking to implement, perhaps?

A collection of failures of successful people

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 07, 2021
failures.com (a domain that seems to not be in use) could list the profiles of successful people. For each person, there would be a well-researched, Wikipedia-style page that lists all the failures leading up to the eventual success.

Someone could create a youtube channel with the same content just presented in a short video format.

Motivational songs

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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni Oct 07, 2021
Play motivational songs for the user. They may select a few that they like and inspire them. Every time they feel down, these songs could be played. The songs could act like Pavlov's bell and improve the user's mood.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic10 days ago
This comes to mind https://youtu.be/eMhDQFLwrAA

Better "oops" than "what if"

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Povilas S
Povilas S Oct 14, 2021
Remembering this philosophy often helps me not to get discouraged by the apprehension of failure before making a decision. Another way of expressing this is "it's better to go too far than not far enough".
Of course, this might be rightfully objected, because there are situations where the opposite is true. But talking about cases where no risk of serious harm to others or yourself is involved, this is a right reference point because an "average" person is often full of psychological fears that hold them back from exploring a variety of opportunities.
Most often the reason for not taking an action that might lead to a beneficial outcome is fear of rejection by others, need for approval/support and the likes. So when weighing the pros and cons and doubting whether it's worth doing something it's useful to remember that quote, because we usually lose more by not doing than by doing. At the end of life people more often regret actions they didn't take rather than want to "undo" what they did.

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General comments

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Spook Louw
Spook Louw9 days ago
Studying stoic philosophy is also meant to help you deal with things like failure in a rational manner. Reading things like Marcus Aurelius' Meditations could be a good starting point, as he wasn't an academic, so he did not write in an academic manner, which makes it more accessible for light reading while also getting your brain used to stoic ideas.