You Mustn't Be Afraid to Fail

Posted: April 19, 2019 9:00:00 AM CDT

If you're like me, you have had countless things that you've wanted to try and do in life. I toyed with the idea of learning to do carpentry after watching a house-flipping show. However, something stopped me from pursuing it. Sometime later, after binge watching Project Runway, I convinced myself that I could design and construct my own clothing. But again, something kept preventing me from trying. That invisible road block was fear, a fear of failure.

For me, the need to be nearly perfect in everything started way back in elementary school. It was a self-imposed irrational and completely unachievable goal and looking back now I recognize how it prevented me from trying so many things.

My fear caused me to close so many doors on myself. Years later I finally worked up the courage to give sewing a try, and my worst fears were realized. It was a complete and total disaster. However, it wasn't the end of the world. More importantly, I learned that failure didn't have to be bad. In fact, failure has its benefits. Failing can help us to develop the courage to keep trying. Failure can lead to new and creative solutions to a problem. It can also help us find new and unexpected paths to accomplishment.

You may be wondering why I am talking to you about failure. Well, my job at Bell Library is Makerspace Coordinator for the new I-Create Lab. And I'm here to tell you that we don't want anyone to miss out on the opportunity to create in the I-Create Lab. We want everyone to come into the Lab with a sense of wonder and excitement, and more importantly we don't want you to fear trying something new.

So, your first attempt at engraving doesn't come out quite as planned—not a problem—you simply adjust and try again. You know absolutely nothing about robotics you say. Well, there are countless tutorials online and absolutely no judgement in the lab, even when your first, second or third attempt doesn't pan out quite as planned. We imagine that the I-Create Lab is going to see a lot of failure, but we bet it's also going to bear witness to a ton of successes.

I recently watched a Ted Talk by Simone Giertz. Her reasoning for making useless things resonated with me. She too feared failure and suffered from performance anxiety. She took her anxiety and flipped it on its head. With no engineering background but a profound interest in building robots she pushed forward in an attempt overcome her fears. She now creates useless but totally awesome robots. So, in an effort to cut my long-windedness short, don't let fear or anxiety put a roadblock in your path. Come into the I-Create Lab to experiment and build but most importantly to fail, so that innovation and imagination can be born.

Sylvia Sanchez
I-Create Lab Coordinator


By: Sylvia Sanchez

Category: Tech in the Library, We Made This