Investment In Loss


“The great ones are willing to get burned time and again as they sharpen their swords in the fire.” – The Art of Learning

In Josh Waitzskin’s book, the “The Art of Learning”, he discussed the importance of investing in loss. We have all heard, and have likely recognized, that you learn more from your failures than you do from your victories. As we continue to have victories, building confidence with more and more momentum, it gets harder to try something new because it will require being a beginner again. Josh writes about becoming world class at the skill you want to build, and this requires walking the line of humility and confidence.

We need to have the humility to embrace the beginner mindset and test out new things; whilst having incremental wins to build confidence and ensure we do not become discouraged and quit.

For my own professional development, it has taken me years to develop a good public speaking practice, and I am confident in what I do well. If I’m being honest with myself, I have not tried anything out of the ordinary when given the opportunity to speak in public or facilitate a workshop. I need to walk the line of humility and confidence, give myself permission to fail, and invest in loss if and when it comes to it.

In my athletic development it has taken me nearly a year of practicing Jiu-Jitsu just to not get submitted in a 5 minute round. However, now that I am there and have worked on my defense for so long I find myself getting hesitant to try something new on offense for the fear of giving up my position.

Build confidence first, but do not lose the beginner mindset along the way; have the humility to fail and to learn.

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Sword by Hamza Wahbi from the Noun Project