Bustle: What Rock Climbing Taught Me About Failure

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Walking into the rock climbing gym, drenched from the pouring rain outside, I felt as nervous as I did on my first day of second grade in a new school. However, I was also enthusiastic about what was to come. You might call this the first stage of failure: nervous anticipation compounded by blind optimism.

I had listened to two TED Talks about finding your purpose in life on YouTube and an entire motivational playlist on Spotify. I was ready. I was pumped. That is, until I walked into the gym and saw a climber dangling from the roof like Spiderman, attached to nothing but a cord. I had signed up for this three-day basic rock climbing course on a whim. The past couple of months had felt a little dull, and I’d fallen into a bit of funk. I wasn’t feeling motivated in my work, I didn’t really have any specific goals or much direction, and I was starting to feel like I was failing at life (some may call this a quarter-life crisis.)

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