Let’s call it an ‘experiment’

The use of words and language is so powerful! I was having a quick chat with a colleague who mentioned the blog I had previously written failure is not permanent.

He happened to say that to some, even the term ‘risk taking’ implies the potential for failure.

In the fields of school teaching, parenting and generally relating we really do not want to see anyone fail. Thus, setting work and situations where children are challenged and successful is really the ideal. We do want to see children trying different things and even for us as adults we need to be continually giving things a go without any fear of failure.  This is not as easy as it seems.


I know that when things don’t look like they are going the way I think they should, I am quick to think I have failed. Just last night my husband directed me to this quote – maybe you will find it helpful too.

“You have dozens of hidden abilities and gifts you don’t know you’ve got because you have never tried them out.  So I encourage you to try doing some things you have never done before. No matter how old you are, I urge you to never stop experimenting…..You will never know what you’re good at until you try.  When it doesn’t work out, call it an “experiment,” not a failure.  You will eventually learn what you’re good at.”  The purpose driven life by Rick Warren pg 249



failure is not permanent

“Failure is not permanent! Most of us falsely believe in the permanence of failure.”

Jeff Goins Newsletter August 20. Once again this was a great article, so check out his blog.

When working with kids, there are some who will take risks in their learning and some who will shake their heads.  Today I took the special class for a sport lesson.  Some of the kids couldn’t wait to have a turn to shoot a goal, but there was one quiet girl who stood in the background hugging a bear. When it came to her turn, the eyes were down and the head shook for ‘no’ when asked to have a turn.  The first time around I gave in to her.  The second time, I offered to hold her bear while she shot and made it more of a command, ‘please come and have a go to shoot a goal!’

She did! The look of satisfaction on her face that she had done it was wonderful! Needless to say when it was her turn next she didn’t need to be asked twice!


The quote I opened with made me recall this situation and spoke to me so loudly.  Do we understand that failure is not permanent and do we ever tell our kids specifically that it is not permanent? How they and us respond to failure is such an important thing.