The Positive Force of Failure


If you haven’t read anything by George Couros, I’d recommend bookmarking his blog and finding 5 minutes to read his posts. He causes me to reflect on my own experiences in a way that encourages growth. Such is the case with his recent blog, “The Feedback of Failure.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t handle failure very well. I used to take failure personally as though it was a flaw in my character. I’d suffer through it, all the while feeling ashamed. I don’t recommend taking on my perspective although some of you may have felt I was writing about you. A much healthier perspective is looking at failure as inevitable and something that will cause growth and strengthen character.

Couros’ post came about after reading a comment on Twitter, There’s no such thing as failure, only feedback. Tweeter, Chasity Beatty, wondered if there was any harm in adopting the perspective of this quote and shifting our language.

Couros’ demonstrated his response through a drawing on learning. Here is my adaptation:

Couros-Learning image

Learning is messy as this image shows, and failure happens. Couros believes there is feedback from failure if we seek it. Feedback may come from others, or it may come from within. “Figuring out the direction after failure is the feedback,” says Couros.

A note on Twitter: If Chasity Beatty hadn’t tweeted and tagged George Couros’ twitter handle, he wouldn’t have shared his thoughts. This librarian is beginning to see the advantages to using her twitter account! @Carmen_Redding

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