Failure is the Pre-payment of Experience

Antti Niittyviita

Just recently I went on stage, did a talk and afterwards felt like an epic failure. For the whole talk, I was sweating like crazy, I had trouble forming sentences and struggled to get each point across.

That night I only stared at the ceiling in my bed and played and replayed the show in my head and finally dosed off.

In the morning I did what I always do after failures like this. Did my routine to stand up, tried to shake it off, and move on.

I made a bold attempt to remind myself that failure is not a dirty word. Success is a byproduct of experience. Experience usually is a byproduct of learning. And the best opportunities for learning emerge at the moments of our most epic failures.

I’ve done the same routines over and over again during the last five years… And never felt any different afterwards. And this wasn’t an exception.

Except, when I got the audience feedbacks. The scores for the speaker and the content were off the charts. 4,86 & 4,57 out of 5 stars to be more specific.

How I felt had no correlation whatsoever with how the audience had perceived the outcome.

Had I given up on any one of the miserable mornings over the years, I wouldn’t have done this talk.

The lessons to me is twofold.

Failure is mostly a feeling. And this feeling it is the pre-payment of experience. You are a human and your brain is not biased to be happy, It’s biased to spot problems. So, the feeling of failing probably won’t leave you. The only thing that changes is that the experience you stack up will inevitably shine through.

So don’t quit. Stand up. Trust the process. Fail forward. And harvest that XP for your next levelup.

Antti Niittyviita

Written by

I believe that every organisation needs their of Champion of Testing. Someone, who truly steps up to take ownership of the testing culture.

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