The Success of Failure

It’s one of those cliches that we hear all the time – learn from your mistakes.  And yet still we try to avoid mistakes, sometimes at all costs.  In some people the fear of failure is so ingrained that they won’t even attempt a task just incase it goes wrong.  I know a few of them!

I’m not one.  I’m a big believer in failure.  It’s something I embrace.  God knows it happens alot! It’s a trait that all comics share.  The only way you can find out if something is funny is to stand up on stage and say it.  If people laugh you know it’s funny.  If people sit there looking at you still waiting for the funny bit, you know it’s a fail! You keep the bits that people laughed at and get rid of the bits that fell flat.  Then you write some more material and add it in.  Before you know it you’ve got a full 5 minutes of funny material.  And after a year you may even have a whole hour!

I like this approach to life.  It’s logical.  It works.  And having stood on a stage with a mic in my hand and told jokes that nobody laughed at, I know that life carries on.  Stand-up comedy is an extraordinary life experience and the very short time that I did it for took a profound effect on me and my outlook to life.  I told some jokes that people did laugh at.  My ants in pants joke was particularly successful!

This week I snapped at a friend in a very stressful situation over the most important of issues – a sausage roll.  I was totally in the wrong despite how stressed I was.  It’s a sausage roll for goodness sakes!!!  I apologised but she still pulled me on it, and rightly so.  What surprised my friend was that I thanked her for doing so.

How do I become a better person if I don’t know where I’m going wrong.

It’s important to accept the praise too.  In some ways I think that’s harder to do.  Alot of actors live for the curtain call – I could quite happily forgo that part of the performance.  That’s something else I’m working on!

How do I become a better person if I don’t know where I’m going right!

Winston Churchill famously said “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

One can only assume that he was a parent at this point in his life too!

If you’ve ever wondered why my stand-up career didn’t take off then have a look at the video below!  I made that dress from my grans curtains.  I was pregnant with my eldest at the time.  I think the seeds of Story Storks were being sown!  Thankfully I had the courage to carry on and drop the rude jokes – turns out my adult jokes need to be about Febreeze rather than Bo****ks!

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SARAH CANTRILL is a woman on a mission to inspire every young child to become a reader for pleasure.  She is the Artistic Director & Founder of STORY STORKS, a social enterprise that delivers interactive story workshops to early years children and their grown ups, that help kids to fall in love with stories and develop their early language skills meaning that they have an easier time of learning to read when the time is right.  Infact 85% of the kids who come through STORY STORKS  are right where they should be or ahead in terms of progression through the reading book scheme once they get to school and the ones who are behind are trying hard because they know that it’s worth it – that to read is to unlock a whole world of fun and adventure and learning and imagination and they might take a bit longer to get there but they’re determined that get there they will.



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