Recently I went for a walk with a friend of mine. Let’s call her Mila. Mila is amazingly talented and a great friend to have. Often she’d invite friends for tea and cook sensational roast lamb or treat us to miniature cup cakes delicately decorated with love and Mila’s imagination. Right now Mila is sad about being stuck in her office job and dreading week days of grey furniture with maroon upholstery, daydreaming about the next weekend’s tea party with home-baked scones and other deliciousness. When I asked what she thought about an idea of starting her own party project, Mila shied away saying she’d probably fail.
That conversation made me think about many talented, creative women full of potential who are afraid to get behind their passions for the fear of failure. And at the same time I also thought about other women who did not take ‘No’ for an answer and went ahead to reach incredible personal and professional heights.
Just last year London Olympics witnessed a story of personal triumph for the British rower Katherine Grainger who finally claimed her Gold with partner Anna Watkins after getting Silver in three previous Olympic Games. What’s more, Katherine’s love affair with rowing started with a failure when at her first ever trials, she was initially rejected by a university coach. That failure fuelled her ambition, and she came back with vengeance first claiming her seat in the squad, then, 15 years later, earning her very special Gold.
Elsewhere, Polly Courtney, the author of six best-selling novels, was initially rejected by all the UK publishers when she tried to tell her story of what it was like to be a young, female banker in the City of London. She went ahead and published The Golden Handcuffs herself, selling 10,000 copies on Amazon in the first three months.
There are many stories out there of people, missing out on promotion, succeeding elsewhere, dumped girlfriends signing up for and running marathons, entrepreneurs learning from early mistakes and persevering to grow successful businesses. Remember, failure may be inspiration in disguise. A true failure is not to start.