Why failing is good for you

Aline SeilerComment

When designing and producing leather goods failure is something you experience on a daily basis. When you start designing a new product and making a prototype mistakes are somewhat expected but when producing an item that you have already made several times it can be really frustrating.

Why do we fear making mistakes?

We grow up in a society in which making mistakes is looked down upon. You go to school, you make mistakes and get bad grades from it. As a child grown-ups are giving you great fears of being a failure when you grow up. We don’t learn to make mistakes and grow from them, we learn to avoid making mistakes in the first place.

When you leave school or university and you start your career the need of making mistakes and learning from them arrises and we then have no idea how to deal with it.

Yes it hurts!

Of course I can’t write about mistakes and failure and praise it like it is the best feeling in the world. It’s not!

It hurts, it’s annoying and it pisses me off a lot of times. I hate wasting leather, time and resources on a product that I don’t like in the end or on a design that doesn’t work out. On the other hand that is exactly what the process of prototyping is about.

I have read so many stories of people who invented amazing things having failed hundreds of times before the final product was developed. I imagine that feeling horrible at the time but in the end what came out of all the mistakes they made is what counts.

Making the best of it

The hardest thing about making mistakes is looking at the outcome in the long run. We all have been there, making a decision your regret but looking back at it you see what has happened as a result of that „mistake“ and you wouldn’t want it any other way. I try to do that in my daily work too. Don’t get me wrong, I can get really angry at myself when things don’t work out, but after a short break, a conversation about it and a good night of sleep I concentrate on what I have learned from it.

It's all about attitude

As I said before nobody likes the feeling of making mistakes whilst making them. And every single person out there feels like a failure from time to time. If it is in you private or your working life.

It is crucial though to have the right attitude about it. I still find it very hard to look at my mistakes and feel positive about them but I try my best at working on my attitude towards it. I find that having the right mindset is sometimes already getting there halfway.

Always try to remember:

Better to have tried and failed, than to have never tried at all.
— Sean-Paul Thomas

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