Stop saying "Fail"

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts. — Winston Churchill

The word "Fail" is almost never the right word.

It's final, negative, a dead end.

Language can shape our perception of setbacks.

Use other words to describe the situation and suggest next steps.

Instead of "fail":

  • If you're exploring a new idea, use "experiment", "test", "investigate"
  • If you're creating something new, use "backtrack", "iterate", "step"
  • If you're learning, use "practice", "acquire", "progression"
  • If you're solving problems, use "adapt", "adjust", "tweak"
  • If you made a major error, use "pivot", "evolve", "revamp", "rebrand"

There are moments when we've truly, irrevocably failed, and you can say so.

Otherwise, find better ways to describe what's happening, so you know what direction to go next.