'Fail as much as you can': Sharon Au shares her experience in overcoming life's challenges

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  • Sharon Au
    Former Singaporean actress and host
Sharon Au, former Singaporean TV host, in an Instagram video post on 27 Nov 2021.
Sharon Au, former Singaporean TV host, in an Instagram video post on 27 Nov 2021.

Sharon Au, former Singaporean TV host, shared in an Instagram video post on 27 November her thoughts on resilience and what she learnt from the failures and challenges that she had to overcome in her life.

"Life did not turn out as I had planned," Au said. "After I graduated from Hwa Chong Junior College, I didn't go straight to university because I had some financial issues. So I spent the next 10 years working as an actress and host for our local TV station."

The 46-year-old recounted how she retired from the entertainment industry at the age of 30 to study overseas at Waseda University in Tokyo, where she majored in liberal arts.

Au said she had to learn Japanese in order to take the university entrance examination, to fulfil the lifelong dream of her mother for her to be a university graduate. "I spent the next four years living alone in Japan and learning a new language, a new culture, new skills, but most of all, to learn how to fend for myself away from my comfort zone for survival."

"What I really want to share with you is what I learned during that time: that failure is really nothing to be afraid of. Yes, you fall, you fail, your ego gets bruised, you get injured, and sometimes it takes a long, long time for you to recover. But at the end of the day, we stand right back up on our feet. In fact, I've noticed that I've emerged stronger each time I recover from a setback. And in hindsight, I look back and I'm grateful for all the times that I've made mistakes, and failed terribly, because without them, I don't think I would be as resilient and unwavering as I am today," said Au.

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 29 : Publisher of ELLE Singapore Sharon Au wears an & Other Stories coat, Mademoiselle Chapeaux hat, Heroines Paris jumpsuit day 4 of Paris Womens Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018, on September 29, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 29 : Publisher of ELLE Singapore Sharon Au wears an & Other Stories coat, Mademoiselle Chapeaux hat, Heroines Paris jumpsuit day 4 of Paris Womens Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018, on September 29, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images)

She ended off by saying, "The important message I hope to share with you today is: be fearless. Fail as much as you can. But always stand right back up and be humble. And know the importance of unlearning, so that you can learn and relearn new skills, new character, new power, new strength."

Au had said in an interview earlier this year that the actual reason she decided to leave showbiz at the peak of her career was that her then-boyfriend's parents looked down on actors; she felt that she had to obtain a university degree in order to marry her boyfriend. However, that boyfriend broke up with her after she moved to Japan.

She had returned to Singapore in June this year during the summer holidays in France, where she had been working as an investment director at a private equity firm. She returned to Paris in August. 

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