Blog citizensschool May 14, 2024

Why Embracing Failure Develops Resilience and Innovation

As C.S. Lewis once said, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” Successful entrepreneurs persevere after failure, knowing that mistakes lead to innovation.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the failure rate for new businesses is significant—20% fail within the first two years, 45% within the first five years, and 65% within the first 10 years. These statistics underscore the mindset and character required for entrepreneurial success.

History is filled with examples like Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Vera Wang, and Richard Branson, who faced failures before achieving great success. Sir James Dyson spent 15 years making over 5,000 prototypes to perfect his bagless vacuum. The key lesson from these entrepreneurs is the importance of resilience and the willingness to take risks.

At Citizens School, we aim to instil an entrepreneurial mindset in learners and believe in creating an environment where failure is not just tolerated but encouraged. This may seem counterintuitive, especially in the context of education, but our approach is based on the idea that failure is a crucial part of learning, growth, and eventual success.

Encouraging Perseverance

In many traditional schools, mistakes are seen as something to avoid. However, we see mistakes as an important step towards innovation and success. When learners are empowered to take risks, try new ideas, and persevere even after failure, they develop resilience and learn valuable lessons that cannot be taught in a textbook.

Developing Resilience

By embracing failure, our goal is to develop resilience in our learners. Resilience means being able to bounce back from setbacks, adapt to challenges, and keep going when things get tough. When learners experience failure in a supportive environment, they learn to see setbacks as opportunities for growth, rather than roadblocks.

Cultivating Innovation and Creativity

Innovation often comes from trying new things and taking calculated risks. By encouraging learners to become risk-takers, we encourage a culture of innovation where learners are encouraged to think outside the box, challenge norms, and explore unconventional solutions. Failure becomes a natural part of the creative process, leading to breakthroughs and new ideas.

Learning from Mistakes

At Citizens School, we see mistakes as valuable learning opportunities. When learners fail, we encourage them to reflect on what went wrong, find ways to improve, and plan for future success. This reflective practice helps build self-awareness, critical thinking, and personal growth.

Building Confidence

By normalising failure, we help learners gain confidence in their abilities. When they understand that failure is a normal part of learning, not a judgement of their worth, they become more willing to take risks, pursue their interests, and set ambitious goals.

Encouraging a Growth Mindset

Our approach aligns with the concept of a growth mindset, developed by psychologist Carol Dweck. A growth mindset emphasises the belief that skills and intelligence can be developed through effort and persistence. By embracing failure, we promote a growth mindset among our learners, empowering them to tackle challenges and keep going despite setbacks.

At Citizens School, we recognise setbacks are stepping stones for growth, resilience, and innovation. By creating a supportive environment that encourages risk-taking and embracing lessons from failure, we empower learners to become confident, resilient, and innovative thinkers who are prepared to thrive in an ever-changing world.