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Illustrator and designer Milton Glaser on the fear of failure

Glaser says: "Development comes from failure. ...Within our own confident facade, the thing that we most fear in regard to failure is our own self-acknowledgement that we really don't exactly know what we're doing. ...You must embrace failure."

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6 11

Written by DeletedUser

One of the things holding young people back might be the fear of failure—specifically, the self-awareness that they might not be good (yet) at something, and that their peers will see this. I think this is a principal barrier to sustaining creative confidence past the very early years of life when we often don't care so much what others think of us.

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Photo of Hao Dinh

Patrick, we are experimenting with prototyping visual ways of connecting similar inspirations using Pinterest – all in order to enable OpenIDEATORS to better collaborate and build on each other’s inspirations.

Your posting is part of the "Embracing Failure" Pinterest board. Check out the field note detailing the Pinterest board.

http://www.openideo.com/fieldnotes/openideo-team-notes/creative-confidence-challenge-community-champion-update-2/

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DeletedUser

Cool—thanks, Hao!

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DeletedUser

Glaser's discussion of how professional success (defined as doing something well, and then becoming known for that thing and getting requests to do more of it) made me think of Carol Dweck's work on Mindsets - where she shows how getting praised for "being good" at something (as opposed to being recognized for working hard at something) can lead people very quickly to avoid risk, for fear of being exposed as not knowing how to do a particular thing.

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DeletedUser

I like your inspiration, it is important to encourage kids to try one, two, three times until they get it right, and not make them fear that they will be wrong the first time. This means they would have to try 3 different ways of obtaining the result.

Here are 2 important things, when kids fear to not have "the" correct answer, then they stop looking for different ways to obtain the result, and just look for one of the ways (the one somebody taught them), which then concludes on that they feel to not use the correct method to obtain the result and stop thinking on alternative ones. Which at the end stops creativity and their confidence to try new things.

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DeletedUser

It's also important to give young people opportunities to work on problems that DON'T have right answers. "Failure" in these cases is not about not getting the right answer (however you get to it), but about exploration and risk and testing and feedback and flexibility and humility and persistence.

Photo of Meena Kadri

Great share, Patrick – and here at OpenIDEO, we're big fans of failing forward!