• Anne Docherty

The Magic of Failing



Public speaking and Stand-up comedy are scary. Why, because there is the chance that if it goes wrong and you fail, everyone knows. It’s hard to keep it a secret when people are watching.


I remember 10 minutes of utter silence. And as a Stand Up Comedian, the sound of silence is instant feedback things are not going very well.


That 10 minutes was excruciatingly painful for the audience and for me. And yet, it was quite possibly one of the best nights of my life. Why, because I survived, I got through it and I realised that it wasn’t the end of the world. The worst had happened, I failed and the 100 people in the room witnessed it. I failed and my colleagues, the other 5 comedians performing that night witnessed it. And I’m OK, better than OK because I’m no longer scared of failing. Although I do have to work out how to make my set more funny!


The fear of failure holds so many of us back from trying new things, from pushing ourselves to change things, to excel, to do something exciting and crazy.


It’s not surprising, as humans we crave acceptance and to feel safe. But sometimes our fear of failure is blown out of proportion. The consequences of failure are rarely as bad as we expect. In fact often failure is the only way to success.


So if you are worried about feeling like an idiot if things go wrong, or that people may judge you, so what, the chances are you won’t fail anyway. But if you do, you’ll survive and you’ll be ok. And you might even feel amazing. Imagine that!



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