Free Inspiration: On Being Wrong {video}

September 10, 2011

This inspirational talk highlights a lot of what I’ve been pondering over the past few weeks- that failure, or simply- being wrong, isn’t that bad. From a young age we are raised by a system that rewards those adhere to guidelines. Doing homework assignments that feel like a waste of time, taking a standardized test or other expectations of conformity to measure your “worth” are rewarded.

Oddly enough though- think of the most famous people in business, art or technology- they are typically the ones who didn’t conform. Those who reap the biggest rewards take the biggest risks, they saw things in a weird or unconventional manner.  Our society both chastises and rewards this kind of innovation.  If they make it past the gatekeepers of the nay-sayers of conformity and produce something new, weird, crazy and different, that’s when we laud their uniqueness- not before. They have to step forward in faith that their vision is worth something, endure the solitude of non-conformity and do so with few understanding their experience.

Innovation, more often than not, comes from failure…{or sometimes the most hilarious character-building stories!}

Don’t let the fear of failure cripple you.  Feel the fear, know it’s natural, and take a step forward.


Here are some of my favorite quotes on failure and being “wrong”:

“Failure is the tuition you pay for success.” –Walter Brunell 

“Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities” –Napoleon Hill

“Remember the two benefits of failure. First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn’t work; and second, the failure gives you the opportunity to try a new approach.” –Roger Von Oech

And my favorite: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” –Thomas A. Edison


One of my ALL-TIME favorite articles that got me to think about success/failure in a whole new way: @Puttylike 🙂

You can also get Kathryn Schulz’s book “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error.”


Is the fear of failure keeping you from getting real with your money, living a more authentic life, or starting a new project? What do you do to overcome the fear of failure?  What has the fear of failure taught you?  
As you’ve gotten older, have you become more afraid of failure, or do you embrace it as a natural part of exploration?  Is there anything you fear failing at now?

7 comments so far.

7 responses to “Free Inspiration: On Being Wrong {video}”

  1. Pam Siemers says:

    I've been saying this to my daughter since she was born! But she can't get it. Somewhere in our society you are taught to always play it safe. Anyone who has ever achieved anything in life knows that you don't color in the lines but where ever you feel like coloring.

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      Amen Pat! I am one who really had to learn this lesson the hard way over time since growing up I was a teacher's pet type that always wanted to please others, and often doing that meant conformity and playing to the rules.

      Now though, I've busted out my crayon pack and my life is so colorful…lines, what lines? 😉 Thanks os much for stopping by and posting, comments make my day!

  2. @applecsmith says:

    I have definitely had my fair share of failures that turn into hilarious moments. I'm very inquisitive and am always asking questions, especially if I don't understand something. So many times I will ask silly, or blonde questions just like in the video. Apparently people think I'm a funny and entertaining person, but I don't even do it on purpose. Lol. I just don't have much of a fear of being wrong or asking the wrong thing, I'm too curious and inquisitive.

    I love the video, very inspirational and this is great topic.

    • Shannyn@FruBeautiful says:

      I feel you! I often ask questions that are considered to be assumed or common knowledge, and sometimes that's exactly *why* I want to ask! I don't always mind looking "stupid" if it gets to the heart or a new perspective on ideas/subjects/viewpoints that people typically take for granted.

      I'm wrong…a LOT but I think it helps me be right more often 🙂

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