Recently, FUN/Akl host, Océane Imber, checked in with Frances Arns, Executive Director of Rainbow Youth and one of our volume seven speakers to see how Fuckup Nights has impacted on her life. 

O: How did it feel to share your failure with our audience? 

F: It was funny because in the lead up I was all ‘this is so empowering and great’ and leaning into it, and then standing up there I had a moment of being like ‘wow I’m about to tell all these strangers a really vulnerable story about myself and a time I seriously fucked up’. 

O: What did you gain from the experience? 

F: It actually helped me to process and reflect on the failure a bit more, and to recognise how much I’ve learned and grown since that time (and how much more there is to learn/grow). 

O: Have you lost anything because of the experience? 

F: I think I’ve lost a bit of the shame that goes alongside failure. Being part of that evening was a really positive experience and I think I’ve taken a bit of that power forward with me, and have been kinder to myself about fuck ups.

O: Is there anything you really wish you’d talked about? 

F: Not really, although I think if I could do this for every major fuck up it would be amazing! 

O: Through this process did you learn anything about yourself that surprised you? 

F: I think I’ve been surprised at how much accepting fuck ups is an ongoing process, like a muscle that you have to keep stretching/training, it’s not like there’s just a point of being like ‘cool I’m great at accepting and learning from my fuck ups now’. Going through a period of not fucking up is a bit daunting because I know that when it happens it’ll be harder to deal with! 

O: What’s the top thing you learned from the other speakers (if anything)? 

F: I think the main thing I took away is that people might look like they’ve got it together and they know what they’re doing, but we all fuck up and have stuff to learn.

O: Do you have a different personal relationship with failure now? 

F: I’ve definitely developed my understanding of failure, but I think I’m still working on re-programming how I think about it. I think I see it as having another half now, the learning and growth part, that’s attached to the failure. Like I said before, I think it’s something that requires regular practice. 
I know objectively that when I fuck up there will be learnings and positive stuff that comes from it, but there’s still the emotional response too.

O: Are you more or less likely to talk about future failures with others now? 

F: I want to say more likely! At least more likely to try [laughs].