On ‘Failing Successfully’ By Angela Mugo

If you are not falling, you are not falling hard enough. I recently became aware of a shortcoming that I...

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If you are not falling, you are not falling hard enough.

I recently became aware of a shortcoming that I have for the longest time, which I have been pushing under the rug. See I feel like I am not very good at social interactions. I don’t like small talk and I don’t particularly enjoy making the first move when I meet someone for the first time. This has not been a point of concern to me in the past. However, I have recently been put in a position where I am always meeting new and amazing people all the time. It’s so exciting to meet all these people who I would never in my wildest dreams, imagine that I would meet. However, when the initial excitement wears down, I fear I have nothing to offer. I therefore decided to do something about it and sought help from a mentor.

I spoke to him about my fears and how I feel that I am missing out because of my irrational fear. He listened intently then told me that he is an ice hockey player. He then went ahead to tell me that there is a phrase that they use. If you are not falling, you are not playing hard enough. He told me that I was going to make mistakes. I was probably going to offend someone, I was going to laugh too hard at someone’s jokes and I was probably even going to give off the wrong vibes. He however told me that it was necessary and the only way I was going to get better at it. He told me to keep a record of all the faux pas I have had. He told me that I should count them at the end of the day. He then instructed me to reward myself whenever I noticed an upward trend.

This got me thinking about our perception of failure. Nobody likes to fail. We all hate that familiar feeling in the pit of our stomach’s whenever we fail. That feeling of your face being so flushed when you are embarrassed. We have been led to believe that we are only as good as the number of wins we have. What about the failures? What do we do with them? Do we push them under the rug and try and hide them? Do we walk around with our fingers crossed hoping we have a perfect day? Or do we walk with our heads held high? Do we say, yes I fail a lot but that is because I try a lot more?  See, I have come to appreciate the importance of failing. The lessons I learned from failure were much more monumental as compared to those I happened to just stumble upon.

With all this in mind, I have gone out there and started to push myself into interacting with a lot more people. It is 8am and I have already had more than three conversations. Granted they may all not all have ended in the way I had hoped but I will take pride in the fact that they happened and I have set the tone for a sequel. To read more posts by Angela, click HERE


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