We mistake mistakes for failure
You and I both know nobody’s perfect. How many times have we heard that? The idea has been drilled into our heads since we arrived here on Earth. As kids, we’re told that making mistakes is necessary for personal growth and learning, it’s the thought that counts, “A” for effort, Blah, Blah, Blah. This is all well and good, but despite all these truisms, the reality is that it isn’t merely our effort that’s valued but rather, a perfect result. What’s up with that?! Not only is this message extremely confusing, but the drive for perfection can be very damaging.
We’re naturally inclined to favor information that confirms our beliefs and ignore information that challenges them. But when we’re unsure what to think, many of us keep quiet rather than risk asking a stupid question. This can lead to blindly believing information that may be limited and unreliable.
We place more importance on intelligence than on learning. Children receive good grades in school for getting the right answers- not necessarily for learning or improvement. And in the professional world, employees are punished for errors. So naturally, this creates anxiety, which causes us to avoid taking a risk that may lead to failure, which means avoiding things like innovation and creativity, which is exactly what people expect of others.
So where does this leave us? We’re all trained to avoid mistakes, and then we become scornful toward others who make mistakes. We therefore perpetuate this faulty cycle of mistake-making logic. And THAT makes us all guilty of making a mistake one way or another… shoot.