Someone who has lived in different countries told me that Americans can share failure easily, but the English can’t. There is a fear that sharing failure will make people think badly of you. This makes failure more taboo, and it makes it harder for people who want to set up start-ups. Start-ups are risky – it’s likely you’ll fail quite a few times before succeeding.
Sharing a story about a failed project can give other people hope that they’re not the only ones that have failed, so they don’t feel so bad about themselves. A benefit for the sharer is that talking about what has gone wrong for you can make the failure seem less catastrophic, and perhaps people will appreciate your bravery for making yourself vulnerable in front of them. It’s easier to like people who don’t pretend to be perfect anyway.
So, as a social experiment, I am exposing myself to vulnerability and sharing failure when it comes up. Please join in. Together we can break taboos and make life better for each other. Just use the hashtag #sharefailure.