I wish to talk about the attitude of being willing to try at something no matter whether you fail. The context is talking about students learning a second language:

Overcoming the psychological barriers to learning English requires the student to develop a willingness to try even if they fail or make a mistake.

Is there a more concise way to express this, if not one word?

  • I’m sorry to seem pedantic and If you think it matters, why not explain what “willing to try without fearing failure” really has to do with “overcoming the psychological barriers to learning English, or developing a willingness to try even if they fail or make a mistake?” Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 22:38

2 Answers 2


There is Japanese term for this that typically gets translated as beginner’s mind. If you google the English term, you’ll find all kinds of inspirational material.


..requires a student to be persistent in trying, even if they make mistakes. ??

It depends on who your audience is and the context.

I don't think there's one word that captures this, and you might lose the meaning in trying to be too precise. But you do repeat 'FAIL' and 'MAKE A MISTAKE' in your example which is the same implication so you don't need the two.

I lived in Japan for a year and speak better Japanese than my friend. She's too shy to practice in public as she doesn't want to make an grammar error, but she got a degree in Japanese and lived there longer. I now live in France. I speak to my colleagues every day even when I'm embarrassingly bad and I pick up the phone. Some colleagues won't speak English to me because they don't like their accent, there's some paranoia in France about speaking English with bad pronunciation?? They tell me they want to learn English but they won't speak to me besides in French. Trying even when you're failing, and not being afraid of making a mistake, is defiantly key. My favourite word for this is persistance.

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