Admitting Failure – is it such a bad thing?

Admitting Failure - is it such a bad thing?

learning from what’s not working, creating space for what is

The smell of Spring hangs in the air, and with it comes renewal, revival, hope, freshness, flowers, warmth, sunshine, easter eggs, a royal wedding, and honesty perhaps. Let’s stick with honesty here for a moment – for we are all very well adept at advertising our glorious success stories, but are we so quick to admit failure? And if not, why so? Surely, nothing becomes of nothing.

Just what is it about admitting failure that turns us from sitting on the shoulders of giants to silent snails at a mere shudder of the thought of failure. Many people, especially social entrepreneurs, fail to share or execute on their ideas because the failure associated with innovation may not be rewarded in development. By hiding our failures, we are condemning ourselves to repeat them and we are stifling innovation. In doing so, we are condemning ourselves to continue under-performance in across all sectors. 

Conversely, by admitting our failures – publicly sharing them not as shameful acts, but as important lessons – we contribute to a culture in development where failure is recognised as essential to success. So, why not browse failures and even submit them on the new Admitting Failure website, which is conceived and created by Engineers Without Borders Canada. We’ve said these two words often enough, but here it goes again ‘go on’, admit it – failing is the beginning to all success.


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