We all know this, of course. It’s one reason why it happens so very frequently (another is that many tasks are just very difficult.) But I would suggest that this tired phrase is more than just a harmless bit of managerial drivel and actually a harmful outlook.
When we don’t accurately consider what our options are we shut ourselves off to possibilities. When we don’t think about failure we never ask “what would happen if we did fail?” Knowing this is the essence of risk management and prudent planning. The lack of planning is what turns bad outcomes into catastrophes – by the time we “fail” it’s often too late to spend time coming up with a good response. By allowing the possibility of failure we open our minds to possible compromise and develop a deeper understanding of our goals and what we actually value. Further, considering plan b might allow us to find one which is actually more appealing than plan a. I won’t urge you to fail, but I would ask you to consider it.