The importance of getting it wrong

School trained you to fear failure.

You probably grew up with everyone around you saying there are two ways of doing things: the right way and the wrong way. And you’d better do the right way. If you do it wrong, you’ll fail and Bad Things will happen. And you’d better do whatever it takes to avoid failing. Even if that means not trying.

You need to unlearn this.

Stop worrying about success and failure. If you want to greater success, don’t bother trying to do better. You already did your best! Instead, focus on learning more. Improved knowledge will unlock your potential. And the best kind of knowledge is practical knowledge.

Explore! Try things out! Learn from experience!

Don’t worry about getting it wrong. In fact – embrace it. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the less you fail. In face, let’s redefine success. The greatest success isn’t measured by the quality of the thing you built. The greatest success is measured by how much you learned while you did it. Likewise, the greatest failure is the failure to learn from your experiences – even if you built a good thing.

There’s a brilliant quote by Samuel Beckett that has earned a permanent place in my brain:

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Don’t fear failure. Indeed, seek it out. The challenge is not to avoid failure – the challenge is to learn as much as possible from it, so that next time you can fail a little less. Fail better.


    • Diego
    • April 4th, 2011

    Great quote ! Once again, thanks for your insight Kim ! Food for my thoughts …


  1. @Diego
    Cheers! I’d love to hear how these ideas apply to your own attitudes and workflow when you make music.


  2. Excellent! After 20 years as a performer (strictly indie…I have no need to inflate my persona)and educator, I feel the need to tell my students this every day! Failure leads to discovery, and only by those discoveries can we get better. Just stumbled onto your blog and I think it’s great…Subscribed!

  3. @Brandon
    Thanks Brandon!


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