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132. Dealing with failure

Of all the wonderful talks I heard at the Love Her Wild weekend one really struck a chord in particular. Lauren from Team Fram spoke about her recent expedition and how she had failed. In her eyes anyway.

This bright, articulate woman had organised the trip, planned it to within an inch of its life, started the adventure, been blighted by bad weather and made the decision to stop. The rest of us couldn't help but think that this is success. She had planned a trip. She had made a decision to choose life over potential danger. As her first trip with a new teammate though it struck a heavy blow. She worried about what she'd tell people at home and was her own worst critic for a period of time after.

We've all been there at some point or the other. And I found myself in a position this week where I had nothing planned in my list, I had a busy work week ahead of me with no time to do the required admin. I made the tough decision to take a by-week on the project until i could get back on track properly.

Some of you may not even have noticed I stopped. But when making the decision i worried what people might think. I felt the sting of failure, that by not being able to do something new every day i've not achieved my goal. I've let everyone down who has been involved so far.

Then I thought about it rationally. Was that my goal? Or was that just the way i had chosen to reach it? What are the ultimate goals of this project?

- To rediscover happiness.

- To open my world back up.

- To try new things.

- To raise awareness.

None of these things would fail by me downing tools for a week. By continuing on i could have hated the project by friday, it would have become the monkey on my back. Pausing for a week has given me the opportunity to continue to love it, for it to continue to be a positive influence on my life.

One of the great things about a project you set yourself is you make the rules and determine the criteria for failure. And i haven't failed.

'Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.' Winston Churchill.


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