So you bombed. Get over it.

As a motivational speaker and storyteller, I spend a lot of time in the spotlight – whether that spotlight is a stage, a conference room, a coliseum, an online article, or a facebook page. Therefore it comes with the territory that motivational speakers have lots of opportunities to mess up. We step into a spotlight where our achievements are displayed. And so are our gaffs. And the more we succeed, the more that gaff matters to our career. We are professionals – we can't afford to have too many off days.

So I am well aware that with any amount of success and fame, comes a sometimes equal amount of failure. It comes with the territory. It comes with taking risks. You can't get better until you try new things, and it's a given that not everything you try will work. You can't have success without risk and failure. It's still not easy though when it happens. I know, because it just happened to me. Again.

I will spare you the details (for once) maybe because it's still too painful to talk about. But I want to talk about it, because I know that somewhere along the way, you will know this feeling. You will try something and it won't work. And you will want to crawl into a corner and rethink your reason for living. Or at the very least, question your dream.

THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT MOMENT FOR YOU. This could be the moment that makes you or breaks you. Not that moment where you bombed – but THIS moment where YOU decide what you will do with this. Many people quit at this point. Many people will walk out of that spotlight and never return. Many will take this as a sign that they can't do this.

Don't be one of them.

Let me be this gentle voice of truth reminding you that failure is part of the process. So you bombed. Get over it. Lick your wounds. Talk about it to someone who doesn't mind listening. LEARN from it. It could be one of your best life lessons. Assess where you went wrong, and how you can keep that from happening again. See the reality of the situation. Don't blow it out of proportion. One mess up doesn't mean you are a worthless human being. One mess up doesn't mean that the dream bites.

Take a deep breath, put the new lesson in your briefcase, and then put this behind you. Find a way to laugh about it, and you will take away its power to make you quit. Dust yourself off and get back out there in the spotlight as fast as you can. And remember that the world would not be the magical place that it is, if everybody quit when they failed.

I believe in you. Now go out there and believe in yourself.

You can't fly unless you are willing to fall.



Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
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  1. As a fellow motivational speaker, I can CERTAINLY related to what you are saying. In fact, you know first hand (as one of my valued confidants and advisors) exactly what experience I am referring to.  And the advice you gave me then – is exactly what you are sharing in this blogpost now.  I remember my first instinct when it happened to me was to head over to Walmart and apply to be a store greeter.  But then I wasn't sure I'd be qualified enough for the position. After all, who would want to be greeted by a LOSER when they walked into the store???

     I heard it once said that as a speaker, 5% of your audience will love you no matter what, 5% will hate you no matter what, and the other 90% will be lost in their own sexual fantasies.  Helps me put things in perspective.  And Kelly, of ALL the people I know – YOU would be able to do exactly what you are suggesting here.  Learn from it and move on.  As always, thanks for so honestly sharing your journey with us!

  2. Kelly, you're transparency is heart-felt and motivating. Yes, I know we're all motivational speakers, but your ability to bring me right down that path with you is incredible. And yes, I certainly know that "feeling" you're refering to where you question everything. Thank you for keeping us on the path that is our truth.

  3. Ditto to my fellow friends who applaud your post.  Yes, we all fail – in fact that's what makes us inspiring in my opinion – showing our vulnerability and that we too can rise up from failure.  Please know that at any time you need to talk about yours you can call me and I'll do the same with mine.  After all, motivational speakers are people too!  And this group represents the most authentic of them all, so of course we're going to fail – and get up again.  Thanks Kelly.

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