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It Is Okay To Make Mistakes. Here’s How To Build This Mentality To Spark Innovation And Creativity

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ByMohd Azad Jasmi
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Throughout our life, whether it is preschool students, university students, or employees in private companies or government agencies, we are often haunted by the concept of “penalty” where if we make a mistake, we will be punished. At the same time, we often want to drive creativity. We also often focus on the implementation of the “Blue Ocean Strategy” or a mindset that is based on digesting the mind to the level of a new agenda or the ability to perform a creative task or activity to create a new discovery.

However, since the process of education from pre-school age, students have always been indoctrinated with “cannot do” things, whereas they need to be given space to think creatively. If a teacher for school students, or a lecturer for college/university students, or an employer only limits their students or employees with what they know, then the landscape of creative thinking will not exist.

When we were very young, we were not particularly concerned about being wrong, so creativity necessitates a willingness to make mistakes and be wrong. We just gave it a shot and see how it goes if we weren’t sure what to do in a given situation.

This does not imply that being creative and being wrong is the same thing. Being wrong is sometimes just being wrong. It is true that you will never come up with anything novel if you are not prepared to be wrong.

You won’t be afraid of making mistakes if you approach a task with an open mind. We constantly live with the fear of making a mistake, risking making a mistake or being told you are wrong. And that is a pity. Being creative is not the same as making mistakes, but being truly creative is impossible if you are unwilling to make mistakes.

It is easy to get caught in the trap of trying to avoid all mistakes at all costs, which prevents us from being intentionally creative, both in the classroom and in our daily lives. Being creative does not necessarily imply being wrong or making a mistake. However, they agree that creative people shouldn’t be primarily concerned with avoiding mistakes and risks.

Rather than taking a chance on an idea for a project that might or might not come to fruition, it is much simpler to lecture or lead a pre-made, tried-and-true lesson. Staying within one’s comfort zone is always preferable to venturing out into uncharted, unfamiliar territory.

We totally ought to attempt to empower and uphold imagination in our study halls, networks, and families consistently. Reasonable risk-taking is required to support a learning culture that welcomes, encourages, and celebrates creativity. It requires leadership models and ongoing, verbal and action-based support that everyone in the learning environment can see.

Why? Because the parameters of teachers or employers are limited to what they know, whereas the scope of thinking of their students or workers may be much better. But with the trend that has been going on since the past until now, creativity is limited to only fulfilling the implementation of thinking as told by teachers or employers.

Errors become a stigma and the development of education and learning is difficult to happen at a more encouraging rate.

Thomas Edison | Wikipedia

If Thomas Elva Edison, who tried thousands of times and found mistakes in the process to produce his light bulb, was not carried out properly, then all the visions, missions, and objectives to make critical and creative thinking culture to students and the community will not succeed.

The cultivation of the “Cannot Make Mistakes” attitude will become an educational process, while the “Try and Learn from Mistakes” attitude needs to be applied to every student.

A truly creative and critical thinking indoctrination requires an open attitude in our society. The limitations of students’ and workers’ thinking are always given a slap in the face with the ego attitude of teachers or employers saying, “I’ve done it before and I failed. So don’t do it.”

If such a thing continues to be told, then there will be no new innovation from the younger generation and future generations. We will always follow the old path. There will be no new discoveries to achieve new visions and missions.

If Elon Musk were to listen to all those negative words from others, he certainly would not have been able to succeed in his Tesla vehicle project or his Space-X mission to take humans to space. We will have a hard time succeeding if we are afraid of failure and we will always remain in our comfort zone.

We are afraid to start a business because we are afraid of failure and bankruptcy, we are afraid to try something new because we are afraid of being scolded by teachers or employers, we are afraid to ask something of a politician because we are afraid of being criticized, we are afraid to provide new opinions for the implementation of something because we are afraid of being swayed by negative words that we will fail.

When we were young children, we did not have a fear of these negative words, so we were not afraid to try to walk even if we fell several times. We were also not afraid to try to ride a bicycle and we fell. But we got up because our attitude is that of a “fighter”. However, little by little our attitude becomes less because our courage has been filtered out when we are often told since school about things that will be a “mistake” and things “cannot be done”. Over time, our creativity fades away and we will only follow the “words” that often play in our ears. So, change this culture.

The “cannot make a mistake” culture is a phenomenon where individuals or organizations promote a culture of perfectionism, where making mistakes is seen as unacceptable. This type of culture can lead to individuals feeling pressured and afraid to take risks or make decisions, which can negatively impact creativity, innovation, and progress.

While it’s important to strive for excellence and avoid making costly errors, it’s also essential to recognize that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process. By embracing the idea that mistakes are an opportunity for growth and learning, individuals and organizations can foster a more positive culture that encourages experimentation, creativity, and innovation.

In conclusion, the “cannot make a mistake” culture may seem attractive, but it can have negative consequences for individuals and organizations in the long run. It’s important to recognize the value of mistakes as a learning opportunity and promote a culture that encourages creativity, risk-taking, and growth.

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