Failures can knock us down, make us lose confidence in ourselves and can threaten to prevent us from trying again. When I was in pilot training, I failed one of my earliest checkrides (an important “flying test”). I encountered a plethora of maintenance problems when I went to start the jet, which was frustrating. But, once in the air, I flew pretty darn well. However, once on the ground, the instructor informed me I had failed the checkride. The instructor explained that prior to takeoff my flaps were out of tolerance by just 2%. Having your flaps set to the correct angle is vital to generating the “lift” you need to rise safely into the sky. My mistake, before I even left the ground, was dangerous.
I went back to my dorm, devastated, and cried. I entertained the idea of quitting pilot training, as I was afraid I’d ruined my chances of becoming a fighter pilot. I called a mentor of mine and expressed, what I felt, was the dire nature of my situation. She responded by asking me if I was going to make the same mistake again tomorrow. I couldn’t even fathom how I could get back in the cockpit. She taught me a very valuable lesson that day: “Failure is the price of entry for achieving something great. ™️”