Why do people equate FAILURE with MAKING A MISTAKE?

20 replies
Why do people equate failure with the concept of making a mistake? I just read through a few threads saying you should fail as fast as possible and I agree with that notion 100%. However, the conversation soon changes from simply "failing" to actually "making a mistake". The two are very different in my opinion. Here is why.

Failure is the concept of not succeeding when making an attempt at doing something. Nothing more, nothing less. If you do not succeed at that particular attempt, it doesn't mean you made a mistake...it just means you were unsuccessful....THAT TIME.

For example, I am a huge Atlanta Braves fan and love watching the game from the 755 Club which is named in honor of baseball great Hank Aaron's record of 755 Home Runs. Everyone focuses on the 755 home runs, but he also struck out 1383 times (nearly twice the number of strikeouts for each homerun he hit. Unbelievable!!!). Does that mean he "made a mistake" 1383 times? Absolutely not. He simply did not succeed during those attempts. I think his lifetime batting average was around the .305 mark which means that 70% of the time, he was FAILING...NOT making mistakes.

My point is that people have a tendancy to beat themselves up for "failing" and equate it with making a mistake which only causes them to make fewer and fewer attempts...which ultimately leads to quitting. And it is definitely much more painful in the long run to to fail because you quit or simply gave up rather than simply enduring any short term discomfort that temporary failure causes.

BTW, Major League Baseball's leading strikeout king is none other than Reggie Jackson. He didn't have too bad of a career did he?

#equate #failure #making #mistake #people
  • Profile picture of the author indexphp
    If you haven't failed, you haven't even tried

    I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.
    I’ve lost almost 300 games.
    Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed.
    I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.
    And that is why I succeed.

    ~ Michael Jordan ~
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaunman
    We need to fail to succeed. Unfortunatly we are taught at a young age from things like school that failure is bad. If you fail a big test you will most likely fail a class. People aquate this to real life, school is not real life it is an illusion from it.
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  • Profile picture of the author scortillion
    I’m sorry, but I think way too many people are focusing on failure. It’s NOT failure that helps you succeed, it’s getting back up and trying again that DOES. The focus should not be on failure but trying until you succeed, never give up, never surrender.

    No fear
    No defeat
    No surrender

    Do NOT give up
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    • Profile picture of the author PeterDunin
      Originally Posted by scortillion View Post

      I'm sorry, but I think way too many people are focusing on failure. It's NOT failure that helps you succeed, it's getting back up and trying again that DOES. The focus should not be on failure but trying until you succeed, never give up, never surrender.

      No fear
      No defeat
      No surrender

      Do NOT give up
      Very well put!
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  • Profile picture of the author gekko2.0
    Wow great posts guys..I've had a million failures and I'm glad I had everyone of them

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  • Profile picture of the author Rex.T
    I believe when people mention failure in the context that you're discussing, they don't actually means the failure as in losing permanently, rather it's temporary setback, failing forward, learning experience, or whatever you call it. I do agree though that the word 'failure' tends to have a negative connotation to it. I prefer to call it learning experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Failure doesn't have to exist in your vocabulary.

    Every moment is an opportunity, and since you can extract a benefit immediately from each opportunity that makes each moment a success.

    Ryan Biddulph inspires you to be a successful blogger with his courses, 100 plus eBooks, audio books and blog at Blogging From Paradise
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Bell
    Failure, making a mistake, doing something incorrectly- is counter intuitive of succeeding. I will venture to say the majority of people grew up in 'structured' systems such as school that shuns making mistakes; stay between the lines, its not good to stand out....The repeated commands of doing it perfect by default puts people in the 'hesitant' stance-afraid to move if things do not go 100% right.

    I believe in failure, but only if you truly learn from what transpired. Only if you can take a lesson and build upon your failures. Failing & making mistakes in my opinion are the hidden gems of succeeding. The intrinsic side of failing brings out your tougher self, & your resiliency starts to develop. Once you start to develop the emotional strength, past failures and future failures are deemed just part of the process on your specific journey. Soon the word ‘failure’ and the feeling of ‘failing’ is non existent.

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  • Profile picture of the author Drizlek
    Well, I know exactly why making mistakes, doing things incorrectly and failing are considered such bad things. For most of us it's training that starts at a early age. Schools and even in our own homes growing up most of us are taught that these things are what defines us as a person as well as what we have done correctly. By the time we are adults it's been beaten into our heads to the point where even on a subconscious level we punish ourselves even before others can.

    Once someone finally gets to that "ah-ha" moment in their lives and realizes that failure and mistakes are not the end of the world from that point it's a struggle to begin the process of deprogramming ourselves. For some it's easy to do, for others it takes years and even a lifetime.

    The funny thing is that in our history many of the things that we know and use these days would not have been even thought of if it were not for mistakes and failures.

    Ok, that's enough of my rant. I need to retire my soapbox.
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    • Profile picture of the author Radcliff
      Thank you very much indexphp..what a quote.That is the best one I've seen so far about this topic.We have to learn from our mistakes and also from our failures to be matured.That only makes the true success.
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  • Profile picture of the author tommycp2
    It is because what we have been taught in school that is just the way it is.
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  • Profile picture of the author Prince Of Persia
    If you fail I would try again.
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  • Profile picture of the author maidmarion
    'If you don't fail every now and then, you aren't being innovative enough!'

    Woody Allen
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  • Profile picture of the author Kmarshall
    I make mistakes all the time. You just have to keep picking yourself up, and keep it going!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kenster
    In my opinion, if you try something your absolute hardest, you cant fail. Something may not work but if you tried your absolute hardest, then it just didn't work...it wasn't a failure though.

    Slight difference in meaning but very important difference
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeLiving
    Adaptation is key in any walk of life IMO. No matter if its business, personal, or just hanging out with friends. Those who view their mistakes as failures seem to not be able to adapt very well.

    If you try hard and give something your all you are going to get something out of it. It may not be the desired results, but something will come out of your hard work.
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  • Profile picture of the author pethanks
    Well, that is what other people think. For me, failure is just a stepping stone for success.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    It's all in the semantics, and the use of the word failure is very detrimental in its connotation. Try replacing 'failure' with 'opportunity' instead in your vocabulary, and see how your perceptions change dramatically after that whenever you encounter these 'opportunities'.
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  • Profile picture of the author HugoG
    Definitely agree. Failing could be a good word if you have a thick skin. Some people are just so sensitive to failing that one try is enough.

    This why I always say, its not failures, its results. Either results you like or dislike. But they are not failures.

    Because for a lot of people, if not for everybody. Failure = Loser, and nobody is a loser is in this planet. We are hear to learn. Period.
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