Is this the worst?

William Liao
1 min readMay 27, 2024

Anytime you face a setback, ask yourself: “is this the worst?”

There’s a very high chance the answer is no.

In which case, you might consider the setback as acquired wisdom and armor that prepares you to be able to tackle more difficult challenges in the future.

Growth is a cyclical process involving falling, realizing a) the fall didn’t break you and b) it’s not so bad, and trying again.

Critically, you have to be willing to fall first.

When I learned long boarding a few years ago, the first thing I had to come to terms with is that falling wasn’t a matter of if but when.

Accepting, embracing even, that early iterations will suck can pull you out of a state of paralysis whereby you don’t try anything for fear of falling.

Being willing to be bad at something early on creates a path to becoming good.

Being unwilling to be bad early on all but guarantees that you can’t become good.



William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (