Let’s discuss the “F” word. Whatever you call it, failure destroys confidence. The more skilled you get at dealing with it, the less you’ll worry about failure and start making your car handle the way it should. The more we worry about failing, the fewer risks we take, and nothing ever changes if you always do the same thing. Avoiding failure is the biggest failure of all, because it’s worse to have never tried at all. Now is the time to stop worrying about failure and start finding the limits of your racecar, and your hidden abilities. You’ll begin to realize you have abilities you never realized you had, which you never tried because you were afraid of that F word.
No pain, no gain does not mean you have to push limits that result in you crashing into a wall. Believe me, there are plenty of safe corners without cement walls to expand your limits on. Once you’ve let yourself go, and you begin to realize your hidden abilities, and confidence, then you will find those threatening barriers and walls less intimidating.
There’s so much more than racing going on here, and don’t even get me started on the “E” word. Egos have no place on a racetrack. As a successful Olympic skeet shooter and a racecar driver, I learned years ago that failure is the key to success. I have told many students, “The reason I’ve won so many races is because I crashed so many times,” or “The reason I’ve medaled so many times as an Olympic skeet shooter is because I’ve missed so many targets.” Learning how not to do something only makes you more confident. If you don’t truly push your car to its limits, you can never know how good you really are can you? Of course not.
Years ago, my best friend, Jerry Kunzman, gifted me the book “Illusions,” by Richard Bach, which was instrumental in giving me a better look into what I was capable of. My favorite takeaway from the entire book was when he wrote, “Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current that each had learned from birth.”
But one creature said at last, “’I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.’
The other creatures laughed and said, ‘Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!’ But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.
Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.”
Unless you learn to let go, and stop worrying about failure, you will never know the full success you seek. Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
At least for now, stop investing so much money and time on your car and try investing more time learning something about yourself. It all begins with actually accepting failure as a positive. If you don’t find the edge of the envelope, you’re not trying.