I can’t believe this happened 10 years ago.
During the 2007 Miss Teen USA pageant, Miss South Carolina had one of the biggest public speaking failures of all time. This video went viral faster than I eat through a Dilly Bar at Dairy Queen.
The poor girl had never been on live television and she blanked pretty hard. Live TV is unforgiving and society can be cruel. I’ll admit I can’t watch it and not laugh.
But do you know what happened to Miss South Carolina?
Neither do I. I don’t even know her name. Everyone moved on. So much has happened since 2007. We’ve had the Charlie Sheen meltdown, the Kardashians inexplicably became famous, and 29 Transformers movies (and counting). Horrible things happen nonstop in our culture.
We can be so afraid of failure affecting the rest of our lives and ruining our identity. But luckily, we can brush off most failures.
When is the last time you’ve bombed out? As a comedian, I’ve died on stage a few times. It’s terrible and embarrassing, but you survive. Failure is good. Failure means you’re trying something new. Maybe a few of your friends will rag you about it in your future, and that’ll help keep you humble, but mostly everyone will forget about it but you.
What is your fear of failure keeping you from trying?
Here’s a fear of mine: I’m trying to branch out into some speaking opportunities. I’m terrified to ask people to recommend me, or pick me to come speak at their event. If you know anyone looking, send them my way.
Even just typing that right now sucks and makes me afraid and I’m embarrassed and I want to hit the delete key but I’m going to keep going and not even use punctuation so I don’t stop while I process this new endeavor therapeutically through the power of the keyboard.
I did it. Don’t let fear of failure stop you.
What are you trying? Let me know! Send me an email or tweet. We’re in this together.
Most importantly, if you learn something, failure really isn’t failure. It’s education.