From the beginning, we’re conditioned that failure is a terrible thing by associating it with negative outcomes. Schools tell us, “Fail this test, and you won’t advance into a better school”. This enforces fear of failure being a primary contributor behind not wanting to fail; instead of wanting to succeed. Not wanting to fail and wanting to succeed, are two very different thought processes.

As children, we are rarely told, “Do something, and when you fail, learn from that failure, and apply it to your next attempt”. Instead we hear, “Do something, and do not fail”.

We should be encouraging fast and small failures in our kids. Allowing them to understand that failure is okay, failure will happen, and to learn from failure. We should support fast and small failure, so kids can learn incrementally, without devastation, and without fear. They’ll understand that success, and wanting to succeed, is built upon learning from failures, and not from being afraid to fail.

It’s easier to fail a test, and learn you need to study to get your overall grade up — then it is to discover you’ve failed the class, need to study, and will have to retake the class next year.