• Kelly Bailey

Lessons in failing


When I was 12 I signed up for a Public speaking event with the Optimist Club.


Our job was to write a speech about something we felt passionate about and then present it in front of our parents and the Optimist members.

I spent hours and hours on my speech, and my topic was how similar our life is to roller coasters and that success was how well we could manage the ups and downs.


Like - what?! I was 12, and man if I only knew how true this was going to be for my future!


The night of the speech I looked out at the crowd. here was a huge group and my Mom was there too, and suddenly I was terrified.

I was so worried what everyone was going to think of me, and what I would know about the ups and downs of life at only 12.


Anyways - I stood up on that makeshift platform and literally forgot every single word of my speech. I just bumbled a bunch of sentences, and quickly sat down.


I was mortified and so mad at myself.


But I remember my Mom hugging me and telling me I did great. It was a moment that scared me, but it also led me in so many ways.

I mean I screwed up, but I still got the plaque,

I still got a huge round of applause and kind words from my Mom. I still did the hard work, and learned it all. It was a moment, I realize in hindsight, that although I made mistakes, I still succeeded.


What if we looked more like this at our own lives?


Like maybe you don’t nail the ending, but everything else goes well.


Maybe your parenting day doesn’t feel like a win, but everyone survived.


Maybe your house isn’t exactly how you want it, but it’s cozy and happy.


Perhaps the whole lesson of this speech, was that life is going to go up and down, and I just need to give myself grace, when I don’t get it done perfectly.

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