I asked a handful of people on the street to answer a quick question: “Can discomfort and failure be used as learning tools?” Generally their answer was yes, and focused heavily on failure; discomfort was merely its side effect. This got me thinking about a few things: Do most people know that failure is a positive thing? If so, why is it still so hard as a society, and as an individual, to accept failure?
Is discomfort giving us a negative outlook on failure? I’m conflicted about this assumption, but I think others are too. Discomfort, being an unpleasant emotion, is hard to handle when it arises. But if we were to fail without it, would we have the incentive to learn from what we did wrong?
Personally, my recovery and growth that stems from failure is because of my desire to not fail like that again. And even though I know that we need to fail, I still don’t want to. I want to avoid those negative emotions. What if we were to embrace discomfort, similar to how we should be embracing failure? If it were to become an expected tool to help identify flaws, would that remedy that initial rejection of failure? Even if it did fix the failure dilemma, how do we embrace discomfort, how are we to be “comfortable” with discomfort?