“I failed my way to success.”

Thomas Edison

So often people are anxious – yes anxious – to avoid making mistakes and it makes them timid. But how do we actually learn?

Our entire development, from the first weeks of life onwards, is based on trial and error learning. An error is not a failure. However, most people confuse the two. If trial and error is the route to progress – and it applies to an Edison or an Einstein just as much as to a toddler who is learning to walk – then the error part of the process can’t just be missed out or dismissed as failure. You have to make mistakes to go forward.

So the question is not ‘Why did you mess up?’ It is ‘What are you going to learn from this error?’

As soon as you start to learn from a mistake, you begin to get a payoff for the future. You have feedback that can feed forward.

Sportsmen and women, scientists and entrepreneurs expect to fail sometimes. They are rewarded for their best contributions and peak achievements, not for mundane low level error-free consistency.

If you want to have access to this mindset try living by this presupposition for a month and see what you can learn for improving future performance – ‘There is no such thing as failure, only feedback.’