Mistakes Are A Part Of Any Innovator's Journey- Let's Simply Not Make Them The End Of It It's one thing to state that something displeases us; it's another thing altogether to call fire and fury on it to show our distaste.

By Aby Sam Thomas

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


"Don't be afraid to fail" is a statement that often gets thrown about in entrepreneurial circles. It is a motivational trope we often tell people with the stated aim being that they shouldn't be afraid to think differently, to voice original ideas, or to simply attempt something new. And while that is all well and good, I've begun to notice that what many of us say in this regard is in stark contrast to how we actually react when one among us makes a misstep.

Now, don't get me wrong- I belong to the school of thought that mistakes should be called out, and that critiques, as painful as they can be, still present an opportunity for things to be done in a better or wholesome manner. However, it's one thing to state that something displeases us; it's another thing altogether to call fire and fury on it to show our distaste.

The latter is the kind of behavior that I now see a lot of people showcase -mostly on social media- when they come across something that disagrees with them. Their ire is often directed toward whomever they've deemed responsible for the gaffe that has so assaulted their senses- personal insults are thrown about, character attacks are aplenty, and even lawsuits are suggested as a valid response.

But consider for a moment that the issue at the center of it all -the offense in question- might just be an unfortunate lapse in judgement made by a person or a group of people. Keeping this in mind, are they really deserving of all of the vitriol that's being thrown at them?

Also, let's consider the message actions like these send to those around us- sure, we're happy to spout cliches that tell them to, say, "not let the fear of failure stop them," but if this is the kind of response that they can expect should they slip up, aren't all of our words just hot air? Imagine a young person out there presenting something new, which, unfortunately, is riddled with honest oversights or unintended inaccuracies- do we expect them to still dare to put themselves out there when this is the kind of backlash they can potentially receive?

The world of social media often puts us in binary thought traps, where everything is assumed to be one or the other. But the truth is that things are rarely, if ever, so black and white, and such a forced demarcation simply doesn't allow for nuanced thinking, and neither does it treat new ideas -even if flawed- with openness, and, perhaps more importantly, with kindness.

Again, the issue here is not with calling out a wrong- it's with the manner in which we do just that. After all, mistakes are a part of any innovator's journey- let's simply not make them the end of it.

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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