The majority of people hate to fail, at anything and everything. Failing is despised so much that most people, including myself for a long time until more recently, that we often limit ourselves to only doing things that we are already at least decent at. Why? Because we don’t want to look like “failers” or “losers”!
Why You Should Want to Fail!
Failing is a part of the natural process of becoming better at anything. Sure, there are plenty of times where we try something for the first time and pick it up easily. But there are a lot of things that take lots of time to become familiar with. For instance, try speaking another language you’ve never tried to speak before. You may overall learn it faster than others, but I guarentee you that the first time you try you are going to suck ass, and by extension: F A I L. My response to that is, “Perfect!”
By failing, you are doing exactly what you need to be, which is trying. If you’re not failing, chances are you are not trying and thus you’re not going to get anywhere with that method. Just imagine for a moment, you went to try something new such as rock climbing, but you went in with a mindset of, “If it means I’m going to fail, I’m not going to do it”. You’d never learn to rock climb, because there is no way in hell you’re going to be able to climb anything more than the beginner level stuff without ever falling off at some point (failing).
How to Fail More
To become better, you have to try, which in effect means you have to fail. It’s the only way, so you’re going to have to get over it. The only way to get over the fear/hate/annoyance of failing is to both change your mindset and practice it more often. Yep, that’s correct, you need to practice failing.
The best way by far to practice failing is to try doing things you KNOW you simply cannot do. By attempting to do something you know you can’t do, you’re making sure you fail, and by making sure you fail, you’ve made sure you’ve tried. It’s no different than the concept of AJATT’s :
You’re not learning Japanese, you’re getting used to Japanese
By trying something over and over, you’ll become better at it automagically.
For language study purposes, a great way to get accustomed (comfortable) to failing more is to rate yourself harsher than usual when doing ANKI decks. For instance, let’s say you’re studying RTK and you know the Kanji that comes up, but only after thinking about it for a bit and it’s definitely a struggle. Instead of rating it Hard, rate it Soon and just do it over. While there is no need to see all the easy one’s you know really well over and over again, don’t be afraid to constantly fail yourself on harder one’s so that you can get more exposure to them. This isn’t a race, nor a test. It’s an acquisition process.
Fail often. Fail soon. Fail now.