Why you need to Fail to succeed
I just got this mantra going around in my head. And I just wanted to share it because I think it's something that a lot of people can benefit from. This is this idea of failure. I think we put so much pressure on ourselves to wait until an idea is perfect, to wait until we've got the perfect credentials to do something, to wait until we've been given the permission by someone else to wait for an opportunity to kind of come out of nowhere and slap us in the face and say - okay, time to go. But the truth is, we just have to get started. We have to get started and we have to be willing to fail.
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One of my favourite mantras from Silicon Valley, and this is something I keep having to remind myself of... is fail and fail fast, fail and fail fast. Because the sooner you fail, the sooner you learn, and the sooner you can rebuild. Every single success, success story that you've ever heard of, whether that be in the tech industry or whether that be like a celebrity, or someone who you really admire. At some point in their lives, they will have several failures and they might not even recognise them as failures. I've got a tonne of them! A tonne of ideas that didn't work out or tonne of ideas that I started and then they didn't quite take off, so I had to change course. But the beauty of that, is that I committed to it. I followed through, I did something rather than just sitting around thinking about doing something.
And from that failure I was able to learn.
So this is a funny kind of story, I guess, in recent times, but during COVID I really wanted to just start a new hobby, just something random that had nothing to do with anything work related. I just wanted to do something that was just so wildly out of my comfort zone, something that was just so different, something that I wouldn't need normally dedicate any time to and just like, just try it. So I've got friends that love skateboarding. And yes, that's where this is going. I decided that nearly 30 years old, I was going to attempt to learn how to skateboard. So I hit that skatepark and I was terrified. You're seeing these 15/16 year olds flipping around on their skateboard, doing crazy stunts on this ramp, and I'm like a Bambi on ice. Even just standing on the board. And the one thing I told myself before I went into that experience was - I am going to fall over. I'm going to fall over and that's okay, I'm going to fall on my ass. I'm probably gonna bruise myself a bit. I'm not going to be on this board and on the skateboard and be perfect. I'm not going to, my body isn't used to trying to balance on a piece of wood on wheels. This is going to be uncomfortable, and I'm going to fall over. But that's okay.
Because every time I fall over, I'm going to be able to analyse what I did wrong. I'm going to be able to analyse, you know, did I have my weight slightly in a different position? Did I try to turn too fast? Was I not putting enough body weight on my front leg? I'm going to be able to learn so much from falling over that before you know it? And this is the punch line to the story. Within five, well, I think it was less than five., I think it was like on my third skateboarding session, third skateboarding session ever, ever to have stood on a skateboard in my life. I was on a halfpipe ramp quite comfortably. And was I still falling over? Yes, I was. In fact, I've been on the skateboard exactly five times. And it's only this last session that I haven't fallen over. And I'm always kind of annoyed at the fact I haven't fallen over that session, because that proves I wasn't really pushing myself. You get the analogy I'm trying to make here. Within five sessions, I'm now confident on a skateboard! To be able to skate around quite comfortably, like in normal, I guess, on normal turf. But not only that - I'm comfortable with going up and down a halfpipe ramp within five sessions of stepping on a skateboard. The only reason I was able to do that, the only reason, the only thing that has gotten me to that point, is having that mentality of it's okay to fail.
It's not only okay to fail, it's actually really good to fail. It's really good to just do something and learn from it. So I challenge you, whatever is holding you back, whatever kind of fear you have about trying to get your first client or trying to make that 360 project that you want to do or trying to make a change in your life, whatever it is, I promise you taking those steps towards it, knowing that you're going to fail, have the intention to fail. You want to have that first conversation go horribly wrong. So you can learn how to like, make better conversation with potential clients next time. You want to send out a load of emails and not get a reply so that you, you learn from that and know how to send a better email next time. You want to get out there and take some god awful 360 photos or videos that make you feel sick in a headset. So that next time you know what to do with that camera. And it's only by trying, and it's only by failing that you can learn and get better.
So that's it. That's the rant for today. I hope this was helpful. I just wanted to do a quick speed round. Just something that's been on my mind. It's becoming mantra of mine I'm trying to live by and even every single day I have to remind myself to do this. Because although I'm very good at doing it with novel things like learning how to skateboard that I'm not necessarily as well versed with.
Doing things like podcasting, or my business life, especially when you start to get some momentum behind you, it can be even more difficult to step away and be like, I want to do something different, but you know what - I'm trying. And if I'm trying then you should try. There's no excuse. (apart from Covid that's, that's a good enough reason to not do something) but if the fear of failure is what's stopping you from taking those first steps, I'm telling you now, that will be the key to your long term happiness and success I promise you.
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