team red white and blue

Failing Forward

As I was getting close to mile 4 in the race I accidentally entered as part of Team Red, White and Blue’s Trail Running Camp I remembered an article I had read the night before. In it Andrew Hutchinson, former Director of Camps and Special Programs, stated that “at Team RWB, we like to say, fail fast, but fail forward.” However, as I was trying to get through this race that had me up in thebeautiful Cougar Mountains going up and down up an down these huge hills, I laughed and thought to myself “well if I fall, at least I will fall forward.”

I didn’t know it then but that saying would become a mantra I live by. Combine that with what I had learned the year before at Team RWB’s Yoga Camp from JJ Pinter “inaction is not an option,” and they created a change maker. I can look back now and say the majority of my success (in every aspect of my life) has come from those two statements.

Inaction is not an option.

Fail fast, but fail forward.

I have started to live by those.

Today, I received a phone call that I honestly wasn’t expecting to get. A call that finally put an end to my constant checking of the email. A call that said “This call is for Thea Jorgensen, this is Sean with Governor Burgum’s office. I just wanted to let you know that the Governor has selected you for the Veterans’ Task Force.” I literally jumped out of my seat in Barnes and Noble and wanted to tell someone so badly but realized the jump of excitement was probably enough to startle everyone around me.

The past few years and the people I have met through my work with Team RWB have taught me that if we want to be change makers we have to be in the arena. That inaction and not an option and that if you want to have an impact you have to risk failure.

There’s that old saying “what would you do if you knew you would not fail?” Think about it. How many things have you missed out on because you were scared you were going to fail. In my 33 years I have finally learned that we shouldn’t fear failure. If we fail forward, we will always make progress. If I could share any bits of wisdom with anyone it would be to go for it. Always go for it.

Three years ago I could barely stand in front of a group of 5 and introduce myself. Now, now I have people who request that I come present for them and not only do I not freak out but I look forward to it. I have been selected for a competitive fellowship, started a business, won 4 national awards, got to be on the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show, expanded my business, sit on a number of amazing boards, and now, now I have been selected for a Governor appointed task force and will be able to make real change for Veterans in ND.

I don’t say the above to pat myself on the back. I say it to thank every single person who has helped me grow into the person I am today. The tribe of people who have helped push me past every single comfort zone I have ever had. The fellowship that started it all. The organization (Team RWB) that has saved my life and given me more than I can ever give back. The love and support of my husband and family. To show thanks for every single high five, every heart thrown, every mile (I didn’t want to) run. To show others what can be accomplished if you are able to remember the following:

Inaction is not an option.

Fail fast but fail forward.