The only difference between a master and a beginner is the master has failed more times that the beginner has ever tried.
The fastest way to succeed is to fail... fail hard and fail fast.
If you are scared of or even attempt to avoid failure, you will shy away from opportunities and slow down what is a necessary process - because you're not supposed to get it right the first time around.
Mistakes are the most effective and fastest way to learn, and a prime example of this can be seen in any form of artist or creator.
Picture two in-experienced photographers who are given a week to produce their best photo, one of them can only take one single photo, and the other can take as many as they like but have to submit the final one, who would produce a better photo?
The first would spend a week cultivating the "perfect" shot, whilst the other would trail, test, "fail", and learn, before bringing it all together. I'll leave the answer to you...
A musician might produce hundreds of songs before they land on one that changes the course of their life, a content creator will make hundreds of pieces of content before they make a viral video. In all cases, they had to fail to succeed.
And at the end of the day... it's probably not even the failure you're scared of, it's other people's opinions of your failure.
Especially given that bold and risky moves come with the most eyes and opinions, but also tend to yield the greatest results.
Are you going to let other people's opinions determine your success?
I had an interesting conversation recently, during which I was asked, “What’s one thing that you would wish for your child?”. (I don’t have one by the way)
And my answer was something along the lines of, “I hope they fall flat on their face a couple of times early on.”
Let me add some clarity to that...
In a study by happiness expert Mo Gawdat, subjects where asked “If you could go back and undo your biggest failure, but everything that came as a product of it disappeared too, would you?”.
99% answered no.
The most pivotal moments of my life are failures... training for 3 years to then get sick and watch my friends achieve my dream (rowing), getting 3 D’s in my first set of A-levels and having to retake (twice eventually), going to Oxford Brooke’s university for a month then dropping out, my IBS journey (not a failure, but a valuable lesson), the list goes on.
Would I change any of these? Hell no.
This became the closing question of my podcast: "If you were to undo all of your greatest failures, but everything that came as a result disappeared, would you?".
So far, 3 guests, 3 categoric "hell no's".
I know sometimes it's hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel in moments of failure and darkness. But one day, in many cases, you'll look back and be grateful for those moments and how they shaped your life.
If you told me this when I suffered from depression at 19, or when I had IBS (an even lower low), I would have probably told you to f*ck off.
Now, years later, I am forever grateful for what they taught me and for how much I grew, alongside all of the smaller failures along the way - and there have been MANY.
Two things to keep in mind along the way:
1. Every day you fight you are getting stronger and more resilient. If you are able to overcome the lowest of lows, you are powerful.
2. The faster and earlier you can fail, the better, in my opinion. How quickly can you recognise and learn from failures, and use them to pivot in the right direction?