Three Reasons Why "Failures" Lead to Your Greatest Successes (Podcast Episode)
So many people hold themselves back because they are afraid of “failing.” But you know what? While in the moment it is frustrating that something did not work out as planned or hoped, in hindsight, my “failures” are some of the best moments in my life. They steered me on the right path and made me who I am today. In the end, I am glad I took the shot and know how it played out instead of benching myself from the game.
One of the earliest times I remember this happening is the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. I was one of thirty students in the world selected to attend a top summer music program. When I arrived, however, it quickly became obvious that I was “the worst” of “the best.” I’ve always joked that at least one of the students originally selected must have dropped out and I was unknowingly called up as an alternate. Repeatedly exposing my “subpar skills” to my peers and instructors through multiple mandatory public performances was humiliating. It did not take long before I called my Mom in tears.
But, as miserable as that summer was at the time, looking back, it totally rocked for at least three reasons:
- The only two people who likely remember this experience are Mom and me. Oftentimes we are afraid of failing because “everyone is watching.” But, “they” are not. “They” are focused on their own lives. And, even if “they” are watching, are you really going to allow petty people to hold you back from your dreams? The person who really cares, and should care, is *you*. And, me, personally? I’d rather know I don’t have what it takes to be one of the world’s top pianists than never to have tried.
- Before the music program, I struggled to decide between a college music or business major. After the program, it was clear that my career was business and my hobby was music. So, “failing” gave me clarity and peace about the next step in my journey that I never would have had without that experience.
- Today, I, in part, use my business education to help people, including through keynote speaking. I’m often asked how it looks like I’m having an easy conversation with the crowd when many Americans fear public speaking more than death. I often cite my music background. What seemed like a “failure” at the time unknowingly prepared me for my present work. Music taught me how to perform in front of large audiences with ease and move past public mistakes. The only difference is that today, I use my voice, not an instrument.
So, the next time you hesitate to try something new because “you might fail,” shift your mindset. Such experience is likely the next best thing to happen to you regardless of the outcome.
And, do YOU have additional tips that will help the SYS community?! We’re sure you do, so please share your advice by emailing me at Melanie@SpreadYourSunshine.com or by sending Spread Your Sunshine a message via Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter. We love hearing from you, as together we are strongest.
© 2020 Spread Your Sunshine, LLC