Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.- C. S. Lewis
When I was in college, I have this desire to become a great public speaker. My thought was that if I can speak to many people, I will lose all fear to speak to one or two person (I was a real introvert back then).
So on one fateful day, I decided to join a Toastmaster club. I started my first day by volunteering to speak on a random topic for two minutes.
It was hard, my grammar was bad, I mumbled through my entire speech and I went overtime. In short, it was a failure.
But it was also a good failure, for through that failed 3 minutes impromptu speech, I learned that people won’t suddenly stood up and chanted “Shame! Shame! Shame!” when you delivered a failed speech.
Some laughed, some snided when I returned to my seat, but some actually congratulated me for trying. I even learned some tricks to make a speech better (ie. speak very slowly, you tend to speak faster when under a spotlight).
That session really encouraged me and soon, I find myself joining the Toastmaster Club. That summer, I found myself delivering imperfect speeches after imperfect speeches, until one day, I learned to deliver better speeches.
My social life improved as my confidence increases. And if there are few things I learned during those days, it was these:
- As Mark Manson said, I found that “Improvement in anything is based on thousands of tiny failures, and the magnitude of your success is based on how many times you’ve failed at something.”
- Life is mostly about not knowing and doing something anyway.
- Action is the best antidote against fear and analysis paralysis.
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