February 8, 2011 1:28 PM Subscribe
How do I make a habit of failing successfully (or at least in ways interesting to myself and others)?
posted by Bwithh to work & money (15 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I think that I'm often slowed down or even paralyzed by project situations when failing or not doing well enough seems highly likely. This is partly a perfectionism streak and partly a self-confidence issue and also based on being burned before (past experiences) . (Also, I do not mean here the phenomena of being "kicked upstairs" or of succeeding for unethical reasons despite causing problems for other people (e.g. the project fails but you get promoted because you successfully shifted all the blame to others)...
How do I practice a mindset or get into the habit of treating at least some likely-to-fail project situations as opportunities for learning, secondary success (my main objective wasn't achieved but I gained in other positive and ethical ways), and becoming more interesting? I'm especially interested in thinking about this in terms of projects where the likelihood of failure is objectively high (or at least widely agreed upon by others around you) and isn't just a figment of a pessimistic imagination... and you pretty much have to deal with the situation and go forward with the project.
Thank you for any suggestions!
I know that this idea of learning to fail successfully (or something like it) has been discussed as being an important part of some innovation cultures (e.g. in Silicon Valley). I'm a PhD student by trade but am interested in whatever thoughts people have generally or specifically on this, re: professional or personal matters. Any book (or other media) recommendations would be appreciated too.