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Failure — It’s actually the first step to Success!

Dec 6, 2022 | Blog, Mindset

What would you do if success was guaranteed?  You could achieve any goal you wished and failure wasn’t even an option?  Sometimes it can be hard to even let yourself go there because it doesn’t seem realistic or imaginable. But, what if?  


The truth is many of us won’t go there because we are afraid of feeling a negative emotion. If things don’t go according to plan, we may feel something uncomfortable such as shame or embarrassment. That feels awful.  


But is that awful, temporary possible feeling reason enough to ignore your dreams? Consider what it actually feels like, physically. For me, shame feels like a pit in my stomach, kind of like a nauseous feeling. It’s accompanied by low energy where everything feels so exhausting. These uncomfortable sensations can last for a few hours or up to a few days and then it’s gone.  


Of course, it isn’t fun, but it really isn’t that big of a deal, is it? I can survive it and you can too! 


Is avoiding that temporary, mildly uncomfortable sensation reason enough to avoid pursuing our human ingenuity and our creativity? Many people won’t put themselves out there because they are so afraid of feeling this temporary, mildly uncomfortable emotion.  


Being willing to feel negative emotions is one secret to success.  


The other secret is recognizing that our feelings always come from our thoughts and we are free to think whatever we want to think. Who defines success anyways? It’s truly different for everyone.  


JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, has sold over 500 million copies of her books.  I would consider her amazingly successful. However, some people have read her books and left her a 1-star review. Is she a failure? Or a success? The truth is, she gets to decide and you also get to decide about your own success or failure.  


We often don’t pursue our dreams because we are so afraid of what other people may think. Truthfully other people are thinking of us much less than we think. What other people think has more to do with their preferences and less to do with you. Some people don’t like cake. I think cake is amazing (although I wish I didn’t). Because some people don’t like cake, does it mean something is wrong with the cake? Nope. It’s just someone’s opinion and it isn’t true.  


Often, we are afraid it won’t work out so we don’t even try. For example, if I ask my friend to go on a trip with me and she says no, then I’ll feel sad and lonely. So instead, I don’t ask to avoid possible rejection and guarantee my sadness and loneliness.  


OR, we may want to try out for a role in a play, but we are afraid we may not make it, so we don’t try out and if we don’t even try out, then we are definitely not in the play. 


See how ridiculous it is? We may fail, so we don’t try, which 100% guarantees we won’t have what we desire.  


I invite you to redefine success. 


People who fail the most also succeed the most. Babe Ruth broke the record for the most home runs in a season, but he also struck out more than any other player.  


Success isn’t putting yourself out there once and winning. It’s about failing your way to success.  Every time you fail you learn something. You adjust. You try again. And again. And again.  Eventually, one of two things happens. You succeed or give up. If you refuse to give up, success is the only option.  


In summary:

  1. Avoiding a feeling isn’t worth it
  2. Choose what you want to think. YOU define success.
  3. People think about you much less than you think they do. 
  4. Not going for it = 100% chance of losing. 


Every attempt is a win. Either it works or it is one step closer to what does work. You become stronger, more knowledgeable, and less afraid with each step. 


I say go for it! 

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