The greatest killer of creativity

Photo by Lorenzo Pasqualis

Is the fear of failure. Society has deemed it “wrong” to fail: parents, teachers, and peers criticise — or even penalise — you for making mistakes. Through our obsession with perfection and achieving, we have somehow learned that it is not okay to fail.

But successful entrepreneurs often fail repeatedly. Referring to this blog post, Prof. Saras D. Sarasvathy of the Darden School of Business found through research that experts make lots of mistakes to learn new approaches, uncover opportunities, or pioneer business models.

Before Starbucks, Howard Schultz’s first coffee shop named a very fancy Il Giornale had opera music playing, menus in Italian, and no chairs.

So how can you learn to not be afraid of screwing up? Forget about finding the “correct answers”, and instead learn to develop a “discovery mindset”.

Make it cool to fail. Think of all the innovators, pioneers and trendsetters. We can laugh at their mistakes, but without those failures, they wouldn’t learn to develop and fine-tune a method or solution that finally works.


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