Survivorship Bias – When All You See Is Success
Continuing our trend of speaking about different biases and how they impact (or impair) our energetics and success, today we delve into survivorship bias. This bias, in a nutshell, results in putting too much emphasis on success and too little on failure.
Survivors Get All the Attention
As explained by the author of You Are Not So Smart, David McRaney, any process that leaves behind “survivors” results in the non-survivors being totally muted from view. Think about it for a second: You may be able to name olympic champions, five successful companies, or even the names of the popular kids from your high school, but what about the people/groups who weren’t successful, i.e. the people who lost at the Olympic Games?
Our culture tends to put a lot more emphasis on winners, or “survivors,” and as such, those who “fail” are naturally forgotten. This means we pay way more attention to success.
You Don’t Become Successful Just by Thinking About Success
The problem with just focusing on success, though, is that people tend to think–and are told time and time again–that becoming successful means focusing on success. But what if it’s the opposite way around – that to become successful, one needs to focus on their failures?
There is a lot to be learned from failure, and many important lessons to take away. Indeed, analyzing why a fail happened can be a critical part to not repeating the same mistake, and gaining valuable information about one’s self.
Stop dismissing your failures or shortcomings. Learn more them, and use the knowledge to improve your energetics and put yourself on the path to success.