Serena Williams: People shouldn't be afraid to fail

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Serena Williams at the Being Serena premiere credit:Bang Showbiz
Serena Williams at the Being Serena premiere credit:Bang Showbiz

Serena Williams wants people to stop being “afraid to fail”.

The 40-year-old tennis star spoke with her sister Venus Williams and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles about their sporting careers, and said she wishes more people were willing to learn from their failures, as she believes the most valuable life lessons come from losing.

Speaking during an appearance on ‘Red Table Talk’ after Simone asked for advice on coping with performance pressure, she said: "I’m my best player every time I lose. I think sometimes people are afraid to lose if they start winning, or they're afraid to fail. But that doesn't, I don't even like the word. Like, it's not a failure. it's just, like, you slipped, and then you'll get back up."

And her older sister, who is also a tennis player, said “life is about failures”.

Venus explained: "Because even when you look back in those ten years, even if you fail, if you just gave it your all with what you had that day, that's still perfectly fine.

“And I think a lot of it, too, is just taking out whatever the hell other people think. When you let go of that, you are free."

The seven-time Grand Slam winner also advocated for taking time to relax and “balance” herself and prepare for what’s next.

Venus added: "I think just asking yourself a question, like how do I want to remember this moment? How do I want to handle this moment? If I look back in ten years, how will I feel about this?"

Simone’s questions came after she made headlines at this year’s delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games because she exited four out of five of her gymnastics finals.

The star cited intense pressure and a case of the “twisties” – a disorienting condition gymnasts can experience when they lose air awareness, putting them at risk for injury when they land – as the reason for pulling out.

Speaking about prioritising her mental health, Simone said in August: "Sometimes when we speak on these things, then we become the face of it. I'm not sure if I'm completely ready for that aspect of it.

“Over the years, obviously, since I've been so dominant everybody supports the gymnastics and praised me for what I've done in the gym and not really outside. Then once I took a step back, I obviously was expecting to feel a lot of backlash and embarrassment. But it's the complete opposite. That's the first time I felt human. Besides Simone Biles, I was Simone, and people kind of respected that."

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