When I was figure skating, I won a lot of competitions. I still remember the first one. It was at my home ice rink and was an Open competition that invited people from around the UK. I was about 10 and skated the programme of my life up to that point without any falls. I was the last to skate and knew when the marks were called out by the judges that I’d won. I had many enjoyable first places, but that one stands out.


It’s important to point out that I failed far, far more than I won, especially as the standard increased. I finished the majority of competitions somewhere other than first. Sometimes the other skaters were just more talented, sometimes they had better days, sometimes I let the pressure get to me and had awful skates. However, I don’t regret any of it.


I’ve met too many parents who try to shield their kids from failure of any sort as if its a bad thing. Childhood is the perfect time to learn how to fail at something and use that experience to do better next time. It’s all about how you frame it. Failing doesn’t make you a failure, it is just a stepping stone to learning to succeed.


Even today I fail as often as I succeed. All it means is that I haven’t worked hard and long enough yet in order to win. What gets you through is having the resilience to be able to deal with it.


If you’re not failing, then you’re not taking enough risks. A fear of failure stops people trying new things that will push them. They worry that if they fail, they’ll be a failure. But, that’s a good way to never truly find out your potential. Potential can only be reached if you’re constantly pushing at the edges to see where the end of your world is.