Rowing fail… builds business tenacity

Spotted these rowers out on my first post holiday run last week (you may be able to make them out in the distance)…

Made me wonder if ‘fails’ that people may have had earlier in life, like me, have bode them well in future, that they are now thankful for?…

For me… it was High School rowing…

For more than a year I had desperately wanted to join the rowing team at High School…

I think I would have been really good at it, I love spending time on the water in water-sports (living in Nelson helped) and rowing was a team sport I could really see myself connecting with (having zero interest in the obligatory Netball everyone else played!).

At 14 years old, I let all the mental roadblocks get in my way…

  1. None of my friends wanted to row…
  2. No one in my year group or the year above rowed…
  3. I would have to join a team of 5th, 6th or 7th formers… (Year 11, 12, 13)

But craved it I did, I wanted to do rowing regardless…

Finally I decided this was my year, after months of deliberating, I plucked up enough courage to get past my first 3 mental roadblocks to go and see the rowing captain (a 6th former!!! eeeek) to register…

Here is where I hit my next mental roadblock…

4. You had to go and see the rowing captain at lunchtime, and you had to find her in the 6th form common room!…

It was under the School Library… deep in the basement…

down about 20 steps (a very ominous place as a 4th former, not frightening, just not in Kansas now type ominous)…

and normally it was always out of bounds to a 4th former…

I convinced my friend to come with me… and I even convinced her to knock on the door and do the asking for me (she was such a supporter)…

Thats when I came across my 5th mental roadblock…

5. The rowing captain wasn’t there!..

After all the agony of plucking up the courage to go, the angst of walking down those stairs… she wasn’t there…

The final mental roadblock…

6. I never went back.

I talked myself out of something I really wanted to do… all because she happened to not at the time be there…

I never did High School rowing and it annoyed me greatly that I didn’t push past those mental blocks that “I’ put in place…

But…

This experience has since served me greatly in my career and in business…

…as I often remember the rowing story when I come up against the first hurdle, the first mental roadblock, the first knock back and I am then encouraged to pursue, be tenacious, and step out again…

…when I waiver and consider not stepping up…

…I think about 14 year old Pip and tell myself to not just step up… but to take a running leap…

Have a think… what happened earlier in your life, career or business that has helped you greatly in your business or career ever since and may help others?…

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