The Negativity Bias: Dealing with Failure

Kevin Thomas
3 min readDec 27, 2023

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In the world of space exploration, failures are often viewed as setbacks. But what if I told you that sometimes, even in the face of what seems like failure, there are signs of success? Allow me to share with you a recent event that perfectly illustrates this concept.

On Saturday the 18th of November, 2023, SpaceX made its second attempt to launch the fully stacked Starship rocket. As a self-confessed space nerd, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to witness this milestone event via the live stream. And what a sight it was! A colossal rocket, measuring 120 meters tall and weighing a staggering 5,000 tons, gracefully ascended into the early morning sky above Boca Chica, Texas.

The media, as they often do, jumped on the opportunity to grab attention with dramatic headlines. They labeled the launch as a failure, emphasizing that the Starship and the super heavy booster experienced a “rapid unscheduled disassembly” — a fancy way of saying they exploded a few minutes into the flight. Some of the headlines included: “The significance of the SpaceX rocket failure!” — ABC, “SpaceX Starship launch failed minutes after reaching space!” — Reuters, and “SpaceX Starship test flight fails minutes after launch on second attempt!” — France 24.

However, for those of us who were more informed about the intricacies of the mission, the second…

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Kevin Thomas
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Helping small business owners to find direction, develop focus, confidence and drive | Business & Life Coach