I’ll be honest: I used to be afraid of being the person described above. I didn’t want to be known as someone whose ideas didn’t work. And to that end, I was successful: most of what I tried was successful. The bad news was that I wasn’t doing much. I was too afraid to take big risks for fear of being branded a screw-up.
Trying things that don’t work does not make you a failure. In fact, just the opposite: you’re more likely to find success if you do allow yourself to take risks, to make mistakes, and to learn from them.
I came across a quote from my friend Brent Ozar that succinctly covers this:
This is a lesson I’m still learning. Allow yourself to try things that may fail, and even if they do, you’ll have learned something in the process.
That’s not being a screw-up. That’s gaining valuable experience.