Asking the question: What's it feel like to be wrong? has profound implications. So to, it turns out, does asking the question: What's it feel like to fail?.
Seth Godin tackled that one here. First off, you have to tease apart failing and feeling like a failure:
Failure (as seen from the outside) is an event. It's a moment when the spec isn't met, when a project isn't completed as planned.
Feelings, on the other hand, are often persistent, and they are based on stories. Stories we tell ourselves as much as stories the world tells us.
In other words, much like being wrong, failing doesn't feel like anything (unless you fail at hooking up your car's jumper cables, or the like). Feeling like a failure, however, certainly does feel like something. And something not good at that.
And here's the absolutely brilliant part:
There are people who have failed more times than you and I can count, who are happily continuing in their work.
There are others who have achieved more than most of us can imagine, who go to work each day feeling inadequate, behind, and yes, like failures and frauds.
Here's the essential first step: Stop engaging with the false theory that the best way to stop feeling like a failure is to succeed.
Brilliant. Read his entire post (which I've sadly just butchered for you) here.