Success is built on a mountain of failures, but failure is something that as we get older we are less likely to tolerate. Why is that?
What does failure mean to you?
To me failure is the wrong word, getting something wrong, being wrong is more what I think about and I used to associate being wrong with failure. Failure is defined simply enough as the lack of success. So anytime I’m wrong, all it means is that I didn’t achieve my desired result. The only true failure is when I quit on something.
When I look at it this way I come to the realization that I don’t achieve my desired result a lot of the time. Sometimes it's playing tennis, making dinner, getting the kids to bed, walking, etc. I can easily find at least 10 things every day that I fail at and it doesn’t really bother me. In fact I usually share my parenting failures with my dad friends and I get high fived or handed a beer in solidarity.
But when I fail at something that is business related I make it mean so many things. The first immediate thought I have when something I’ve tried didn’t work is:
“I suck, I’m never going to be successful at this, why bother”
“I did so much work, I don’t want to redo it”
“I don’t know why it didn’t work”
As I explored this more, I realized that my thoughts about failing at business go down to my core belief that I am not successful at making money, therefore I’m not successful at providing for my family. One feeling that really surprised me came from guilt of being indulgent. Let me explain, when I started down my path of being a life coach I kept saying that eventually I will transition away from my full time job and that my coaching business could support my family’s needs. So as I tried and failed to make money as a life coach the thoughts I created were:
“If I can’t make money doing this, am I being selfish by spending so much time and energy on my business when I could be better served doing something else.”
Let me know if some variation of that statement sounds familiar?
Therefore, if I am a failure at something then I was wrong to try it and if I am wrong about that decision what else am I wrong about?
How can I move from that fear and scarcity to a place of confidence and abundance?
What I did was start at square one, what was my reason for doing this in the first place? I am a coach to help other people transition from a place of overwhelm, indecision, frustration and into one of accomplishment, control and satisfaction. The process itself is an exercise in failure, and therefore failure is a must if I am to attain the results that I want.
Wait, that didn’t really make me feel better.
What if I knew for a fact I would be successful. How many times could I handle failure if I knew that the end result was success? I could handle all the failures if I knew that.
Now that sits a bit better with me. How does it work for you?
So failure is just perspective, if you’re trying to guess what the result is going to be then it's a lot harder to accept failure. But, if the end result is inevitable then the failures don’t matter as much.
So maybe the only question you need to ask yourself is do you believe your success is inevitable? If it is, then you can wear your failures as badges of honor and take pride in them because those failures are what got you to your promised land.
Take care my friends, and if anyone wants to chat further on failure, beliefs or any other obstacle issues do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.