Criticism & Failure: An anti-fragile model

Photo by John T on Unsplash

I used to think criticism mean that I’m a lousy person for putting out bad work.

A few years later, I love criticism because it shows I’m a great person for letting myself be vulnerable, having the drive to improve through seeking of objective assessment,

It was so difficult for me to make this mental shift as I was the type of person to attempt big projects once or twice a year. Failure meant a catastrophic lose and criticism would be too painful as I lost the only few opportunities for that year.

What changed?

I started to many small projects. Daily. When I wanted to learn photography, I started taking one picture everyday and sent them to more experience photographers to be criticised.

The biggest difference for me mentally was that even though I failed to take a good photograph today, there is always tomorrow.

By breaking down your goals into tiny pieces that you can attempt daily, a failure in the grand scheme of things becomes so much less scary as compared to high-risk projects once or twice a year.

Just like it was explained by Taleb’s Anti-fragile.

Somethings are fatal at a certain dose. Just like poison.

We can build a tolerance for poison to a certain degree by micro-dosing at first and slowly increasing it’s dose.

This applies to failure as well. Failure can be catastrophic for our businesses, but by breaking down actions that we can attempt on the daily brings us increase tolerance to this feeling of failure. Allowing us to be more resistant to it. As long as we actively work on building this tolerance.

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