The Failure Myth
I read a meme this afternoon stating that struggling is not the same as failing. It was an interesting message since earlier today I had a discussion with a colleague about failure. He asked me what I thought my biggest failures were. I told him that I don’t look at my life in terms of success or failure because everything I have ever done served me in some way later on. I have lost jobs, changed careers, re-educated myself, started businesses, closed businesses, changed tracks, moved in different directions, re-thought my plans, changed relationships, and have done all kinds of things that never earned me great wealth or accolades of any kind. I see myself as constantly evolving and I am nowhere near finished. This is how my journey looks and I am happy with the process, even if it doesn’t look right to those looking in from the outside. I am happy, even if it means I have to struggle through darkness sometimes.
Nothing is ever brought into existence without struggle. Babies struggle to be born, plants struggle to emerge from the soil, the very universe we are a part of emerged from pressure that caused an explosion (a struggle). Every wildly successful entrepreneur, author, musician and actor has faced rejection and struggled to learn what was necessary to achieve greatness.
For me, failure happens when you stop trying. Is your journey over? Have you really learned all you want? Are you never hungry for something new or different? Are you incapable of seeing possibility? Are you afraid of the struggle? Not trying feels a lot more like failure to me than trying something and not reaching my goal. Check your mindset.
It takes courage to try new things. It takes courage to plough through your darkest moments and keep looking. It takes courage to defend your ambitions in the face of difficulty. It takes courage to ignore criticism and choose to remain true to yourself. Is courage not a form of success? In my mind, success is enjoying the journey. Success is being happy with your effort even if the result isn’t perfect. Success is knowing you can choose to see the good in any situation and have no regrets. Success is learning how to be better. Success is seeing possibility in every day. Success is being able to inspire others to do more, be more and have more. Success is daring to be the best version of you, even if it means having to stumble along the way.
Success is a mindset and so is failure. Choose your thinking and your actions will match your thoughts. Avoid those who try to make you feel bad about who you are and what you are doing. They don’t need to understand you. They likely need to learn to challenge themselves. They need courage.
The myth of failure is the belief that our efforts can actually have no value and be completely wasted. That is simply not true. All effort has value. The myth of success is that it comes without struggle to a blessed few and that the rest of us are either in limbo, or complete failures. The reality is that success is for everyone and can be found in every moment, but you have to appreciate the moment you are in, in order to see it. The truth about failure is that we all miss our goals from time to time. We are all on a journey and struggle is not an indication of failure. Likewise, the things that don't work out are no indication of failure. Not learning anything from our experiences is failure. Never taking a chance, is equal to failure. Allowing yourself to remain stagnant in your life is a sad choice to make and feels very much like failure. Appreciating what you’ve got, however meagre it may seem to others, is an acknowledgement of success. Do yourself a favour and take this moment to appreciate something in your life and acknowledge your success.
Just for the record, darling, not all positive change feels positive in the beginning.
S C Lourie
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Renée Cormier is a certified coach and facilitator on a mission to show people how changing their thinking changes their lives. Contact Renée to learn how to quickly move forward and achieve growth in business and all other areas of life. Renée happily shares her business and personal development expertise through a variety of training and coaching programs that create unsurpassed value for her clientele.
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