May 2, 2017

If you’re at all familiar with Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, hearing her name probably evokes images of crazy flips, chalk dust, and some—scratch that—a ton of gold. It is hard to imagine the most decorated American gymnast standing anywhere other than the podium. However, when Biles competed at the 2011 Visa National Championships she found herself standing in front of the scoreboard, tears welling in her eyes, one slot short of making the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.

But she came back—back in a big way at the 2016 Games. The power behind her incredible success? Surprisingly, the athlete credits her defeat. In her recently published autobiography, Courage to Soar, Biles writes, “I thought my failure at the 2011 Nationals was an ending, but it was really a beginning—a turning point on a journey I still can’t believe I’m taking.”

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This week on Relate, we’re talking about just that—how our moments of imperfection make us stronger and, ultimately, more successful. Sport and Performance Psychologist Mark Aoyagi discusses the misconceptions about failure, especially in the context of high pressure moments. And his teachings reach us all— artists, businesspeople, and, yes, even Olympic champions have much to learn about accepting failure as a path to growth.

So put in your ear buds and grab a coffee—we’ve got three great stories that are itching to be heard. And if you spill your coffee reaching for your phone… we won’t blame you. After all, failure is just part of being human.

The Relate podcast: a show about how we connect, work together, and understand one another. Basically, we'll explore every type of relationship except romance—that’s on you.

Sara Lighthall is a content marketer at Zendesk and a student of life. When she’s not demystifying the Millennial generation on Relate, you can find her with her toes in the sand and a latte in her hand. See what she’s up to on Twitter: @saralighthall.