Welcome Failure!

Looking back on show weekend number 1 this year, one might say that it was a complete failure. Marks below expectations, definitely no ribbons, no wins, no nothing. Why I still feel super proud and happy about what happened?

It may sound like a cold comfort for the losers but in fact, it is true. There are only two possibilities: either you perform well and win or you learn. Something about yourself, about your horse, about the judges. Failure is not the opposite of success. It is rather that failure is the basis for success. Failure is the matrix for progress if you only accept it.

What happens when you fail? You might feel devastated, you feel like you are not there yet, that others look at you, that others judge, even that there are some who gleeful about what happened to you. And yes, I have been there as well. Feeling bad about my performance, being angry at myself, wanting to give up.

First of all, even if you fail, you at least tried. You are way ahead of all who didn't. You are probably ahead of those who are happy about seeing you fail. Who knows if they will ever try? So you should be proud that you were brave enough to face the challenge and give it a try. Yes, I could show first level or second and yes, I could bring home tons of ribbons like we were used to some time ago. But not moving up would mean that I would be stuck in my comfort zone which is, by all means, okay but also pretty yellow, don't you agree?

Second, giving up is the easiest thing and you are actually a true loser when you do so. It takes a lot of courage to rise after a fall, literally! Once you reach the stage of not giving up after you failed, you are on a good way to start embracing failure - as a chance to learn and further progress.

Third, even if a test or situation feels like a complete disaster, in reality, there must have been good parts in it: like with my tests on the weekend. There were lots of 7s - if we really were THAT bad, that would not have happened. Why should it have? Yes, there were some movements that were a fail, but a lot of pieces are already in place.

Fourth, all the things that went wrong lead you to do things differently. Failing on the changes? Analyze what happened, go back home and try again. Try harder, try something different. Find a solution to that problem. Feel the joy of finally getting it right. Next time at the show, you have another chance to make it happen.

Fifth, if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger. That correlates with the point explained before. You might have been super excited about this show like me showing flying changes for the first time. Now that this excitement of showing something for the first time is gone, I can concentrate and be more precise next time. It is kind of relief and makes me long to show it better next time.

Sixth, it is better to fail than to not experience it at all. Of course, it would be an even better experience to have a success, a win, a ribbon BUT it is better to fail while trying than not doing it at all - for all the reasons mentioned before.

And most important and this is definitely the reason that keeps me going is that failure shows you what you REALLY want to do. Whenever I failed at something in physical education and then decided to give up, it was fine because obviously I was not really wanting to do it. When I failed in catching the ball when I trained cricket it was also ok, I gave up cricket completely and do not regret it. But when you feel you need to come back and do it again, then you really love it.

This is the bottom line of this post: I do it because I love it and this is the reason why failure cannot keep us from trying...

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