Failing, Making Mistakes, and Fear

One great thing about being a student — even one who posts stuff online like I do — is that we can experience failure and change our minds with little repercussion. This gives us the opportunity to experiment, learn, and fix problems.

This video talks about that process, and also cautions students against following personality-driven fight-focused instructors. When an instructor has to dig their heels in and state “this technique / stance / firearm is the best” then they shoe-horn themselves into defending their product.

We should be learning to defend our lives, not defend our egos.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

2 Comments on "Failing, Making Mistakes, and Fear"

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  1. CR Williams says:

    Instructors should not be afraid to fail either. I have blown an demonstration in front of a class in the past and turned it into an example of the process of correcting errors of technique that I hope was useful to the students. I know of instructors who will not demo drills in class because they don’t want to risk a mistake in public. I’m not convinced this is a good attitude to have when teaching.

  2. Randal S Ripley says:

    This is someting I really like about you, you’re not afraid to talk about not being perfect all the time and will make mistakes along the way. I provide training in a field totally unrelated to guns and fighting but the same message rings true. I have Technicians who are so afraid of making a mistake in front of the others in the class, they will shy away and try to avoid even basic component testing. Of course I don’t allow that and gentle encourage/push them to not rob themselves of the experience they will gain here and need to perform in the field. I always tell them if they are afraid of failing know when there is no pressure to get critical equipment on line, how are they ever going to handle the pressure when all the customer wants is that equipment working and you didn’t challenge yourself in class and now have no idea what to do. If you’re not at training sessions with an open mind, notebook and intent to get the most out of it, why are you there?

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