In any industry, profession or career the word ‘fail’ is almost always likely to appear at least once. In the aviation industry, especially if your goal is to become a pilot, you’re most likely to be a victim of it countless times. Which by no means should be considered a negative. Truth is, I hate the negative connotations attached with the word failure, because in order to fail you must have tried. Let that sink in. One of my favourite motivational speakers Eric Thomas stated that “failure is temporary.” You only truly fail if you have truly tried.
I remember months of hard lessons, tough grilling sessions on any mistake no matter how minor, constantly asking myself whether I was good enough to follow this through. The process of becoming a pilot is no easy feat. According to the AOPA 80% of students that begin flight school don't finish. It’s staggering. Not a statistic that I wanted to be a part of. You invest so much time and money into flying the last thing you want to do is fail, whether it be failing a stage check or failing a checkride. A good thing about this industry is that you get another opportunity. So don't sweat it, it really isn't the end of the world. Important thing is that you learn, keep going, keep improving and become the best pilot you can be.
When you make it to the end of your training, you honestly have something to be extremely proud of. This is what I went through during my student pilot training, it was by no means the worst scenario but is a little insight:
- I changed instructors mid-way through my private pilot phase.
- I was hopeless at landing even until my checkride.
- Initially I couldn't hold a steep turn.
- II struggled to wrap my mind around VOR.
- I scored 83% in the knowledge test, which I spent countless hours revising for but the result was mediocre.
I'm sure everyone has their story, transitioning from student pilot to private pilot after going through hardships makes the reward that much sweeter. It was one of the best days of my life; better than obtaining my university degree. A lot of student pilots go through similar experiences so just remember that you are not alone.
I urge you to think of failure as an experience rather than a loss, it's those experiences that will make you a better pilot. Nelson Mandela famously put, “I never lose, I either win or learn.” It's a saying to remember because it eliminates the thought of failure.
For most of us failure is inevitable. It doesn't define who you are and what you're capable of. Failure is a stepping stone to success.