How Cliff Jumping Taught Me to Embrace Defeat

April 14, 2013


A few months ago, I found myself in a beautiful place.

Of course I didn’t think twice when someone said we were going cliff jumping. I’m always down for an adventure and this trip was all about trying new things. Excited and energized, I scaled a seriously rocky cliffside and somehow arched my body, taking a few scratches along the way, to find myself staring straight down a 50-foot cliff above the Mediterranean. Yep — there I was, elated that I had finally made it, and with no option of climbing back down, I jumped .

The entire experience was absolutely exhilarating, but also exhausting and completely terrifying — and honestly — in the end, it wasn’t even that fun. After I jumped, I got this vicious bruise right on the base of my coccyx (look it up!) that prevented me from comfortably sitting for a few weeks. 

If you think about it, we do things like this every day. We get ass bruises. We have a brilliant idea and think its the “next best thing” and get so excited about it that nothing phases us until we find ourselves finally at that peak. And it’s not always well received. We get our asses metaphorically bruised by reality, or by a client saying that our mockup looks like shit, and that our idea is stupid.

Yes, these situations kind of suck, but we learn from them! Seriously. 

I never complained about the butt bruise because it gave me a chance to feel that rush of excited energy along the way. The design/dev process parallels this: we fall into these manias where we simply can’t stop building, and those are the moments in which we learn and achieve the most. So fuck whoever isn’t using your brilliant plan — the important thing is that you made it, you did it, and you learned from it. And it’ll help you expand for your next project, which will be that much easier for you to build on.

So don’t be afraid to fail (read: fall on your ass)! And fail proudly! Each failure is a success story in progress.