Feature Image Credit: Talus Creative
There are few words in the human vocabulary that carry as much negative weight as failure. For driven, goal oriented individuals, to have the outcome of any personal or professional pursuit categorized as such is to experience the lowest of the lows. And yet, if you read, listen to, or follow the work of anyone you would define as successful, you will unquestionably be exposed to failure.
In fact, some of the most successful individuals on the planet openly discuss their numerous personal and professional experiences with failure and how they have come to accept failure as an integral step on the path to success. To the most enlightened, failure is a necessary byproduct of pushing one’s limits. This is undoubtedly true.
For hunters, the line between success and failure is often very thin. We can do everything right and still come home empty handed. External factors beyond our control such as the weather, animal behavior and other hunters all play a role in the outcome of any hunt. But our community still thrives on and, in many ways, expects success. In the eyes of many, to be an unsuccessful hunter is to be an incompetent one. A sentiment that is both categorically untrue and horribly self-limiting. We all experience failure, whether in the field or in our non-hunting pursuits, and anyone that denies this fact is not exploring the boundaries of what is possible.
The key is to learn from failure. To process the experience and use it to our advantage in the future. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to do. No. It’s always hard. But the best things in life often are.
So, with all this in mind, and with hunting seasons in full swing, we felt that failure and most importantly how to deal with it, was a subject that should be discussed in this month’s Mountain Life column. In a timely podcast of his own, ex-SEAL Andy Stumpf, a past podcast guest on BTK and contributor to the JOMH recently released an episode covering precisely this topic on his Cleared Hot podcast. It, appropriately, centers around hunting but is transferable to every walk of life. Most specifically, Andy’s honest account of his recent failed hunting trip, how he processes failure and the steps he plans to take to grow from it are timeless lessons we can all learn from.
Regardless of how your season has unfolded to date, this is must listen content for anyone interested in learning how to build a positive, growth oriented relationship with failure.
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