There’s been lots of talk recently about failing. We’re quick to criticize when people fail or gets things wrong. But failing is the way to move forward.
I spent yesterday on the beach going over my content for my speech at TEDx Durham on Sunday. Part of my speech will reflect on where I failed, where I almost quit and where I made it through.
When I was younger I spent time challenging and pushing myself, but in areas where I had a safety net. I spent years as a team member of Team X, the National Canopy Formation Parachute Team, bumping canopies off my team mates, getting tangled in the fabric and lines and having to cut my parachute away, going back into freefall and deploying my reserve. But that was the issue – I had a reserve. I had a way out if something went wrong – I wouldn’t have failed.
Failure is a good thing. I spent many years avoiding challenges because I was afraid of the possibility of failure. If I didn’t undertake the task or the challenge then I couldn’t fail.
Eventually, I committed. I trained hard for a challenge that was important to me, I undertook it and I failed. I was gutted. Completely gutted.
However, failing was the best thing that could have happened to me. I learnt so much. I became able to stand up straight and tall, almost proud that I had failed. By failing in this way my fear was gone. I learnt that it was ok to fail. And if I didn’t fear failure the challenges I could now face were unlimited.
Failing can be tough – don’t get my wrong, I’m not encouraging you to set yourself up for failure. But, if it happens, then it’s about how you face it. You need to choose to learn from your failure. If it happens, embrace it and learn from it, don’t fear it.
Step up to your challenges. Face them with confidence and commitment. If it doesn’t work, well that’s ok. But at least you’ll have tried. I, for one, would rather have tried and failed than to never have tried at all.
Question: How have you failed and how did you deal with it?