DARPA: Removing the fear of failure

Posted on December 28, 2014 by Dr. Lynda

If you don’t have a science geek in your circle of friends, get one. Why, you ask? Because people who understand how innovation works can teach us that if you want to come up with anything new, you have to get comfortable with failure. Enter the world-renowned organization for innovation: DARPA.

As the new year approaches, and we think about the changes that would make the coming year better, most of us have something new we need or want to do. Perhaps it’s something we haven’t been able to get the courage to do.

Just think about the failures, the starting over and the crushing setbacks that it took to come up with the two wonders in this photo. Real people with hopes and fears, and complex personal lives, and fragile egos just like ours created them!

Image: DARPA's Robotic Dog
Source: DARPA

But every science geek worth their salt will tell you that you have to risk swinging and missing a lot, before you get a home run! History’s big lurches forward come from people who refused to give up and acknowledge that things were impossible. They just kept swinging.

The same way of thinking is available to you and me on a personal level. The saying, If we want something different than we’ve got, we have to do something different than we’ve done, was never truer. What would our lives look like if we could shake our fears of failure?

Today we’re looking at a think tank full of these fearless innovators: DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) researcher Regina Dugan shows us what can happen when fear of failure is banished from so many angles, in her amazing TED Talk.

Watch the following video and just see if you don’t feel like you can tackle something totally “impossible” after you’ve watched it!

Via: TED 1

Well now! What might you accomplish – even on a tiny personal level – if your self-conscious, fearful ego was not whispering “failure” in your ear?

About 10 years ago I took some red lipstick and wrote an Eleanor Roosevelt quote, very large, at the top of the mirror in my kid’s bathroom. It still reads:

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Ms. Roosevelt knew that every person was full of unrealized potential… if they could only shake their fear of trying something they once thought was impossible.

Image: Dr. Lynda Ulrich with sunflowers
Dr. Lynda M. Ulrich Founder of EWC

The most brilliant relationships, innovation, beauty, creativity, and peace efforts all come from a place where fear is not part of the equation. 

Contact us here if you’ve got an idea that would make the world a better place, and you’d like to have EWC help you advance, without fear. We really want to know about it!


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