The Truth About Failure
The truth about failure is, if you are reading this, you are not a failure. I know you are thinking “lady you don’t know me, how the heck could you know that?!?” Well it’s easy, unless it kills you, you haven’t achieved true failure. Since you are reading this, I am going to go out on a limb and assume you are alive, so you haven’t failed. Read on for some more truths about failure.
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Failure is Finite
Like I said in the first paragraph, failure is not something you can achieve unless it kills you. If for instance, you are trying to jump the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle and you fall to your death, then you have failed. If you attempted the same feat but were smart enough to use a safety net, even if you don’t make it, you haven’t failed yet…
When You Stop Trying
Other than death, the only way you can achieve failure is to stop trying. This is the beautiful thing about life. The sun will come up tomorrow and you will have another shot at doing or achieving whatever it is you have set out to achieve.
I used the motorcycle over the Grand Canyon example because Evel Knievel fell short so many times in his stunts. According to his Bio page, he has broken 35 bones, had 14 surgeries and shattered his pelvis. Each time he crashed a jump, he went back to study what went wrong, made some changes and revved up his motorcycle for another try.
When something doesn’t go right, successful people don’t quit and say “well I am a failure”, they cry in their beer for a night, then figure out what went wrong, how they can fix it, and they try again.
The Key to Success Lies in Failing
Anyone who has done anything great did not do it on their first try. Not Albert Einstein, not Bill Gates, not Thomas Edison. No one. They all had goals, but their first attempts were not realized and some were absolute flops.
Thomas Edison took out 1093 patents, of those only 3 were hugely successful. The light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera were all great inventions, but if you do the math, only .002% of his inventions were successful. I bet if you could ask him he would tell you he was a great success, not a failure.
The Definition of Insanity
Albert Einstein is credited with saying “the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over, and expect different results” This is where a lot of people find themselves stuck. They continue to run at a problem the same way and expect a different result. If you are really feeling like you are failing, step back and look at the steps you have taken to succeed. Are you doing the same thing over and over?
Dissect, Dissect, Dissect
Like a good autopsy finds the cause of death, you need to cut open your failures and see what went wrong. Look at it from all angles. Pick up the problem in your mind turn it over, open it up, look for weakness and ask yourself how you can strengthen those areas. Ask yourself, what could you change?
Brain Dumps and Free Thinking
Grab a sheet of paper, and write a bullet list of everything in your brain. That is a brain dump and it can help you see where your problems are and how to solve them. Once everything is on paper you can use different color highlighters to highlight similar themes.
Once you have your highlights done, you can do a free thinking session. Take one section and let your mind drift on that topic, come up with solutions (even if they seem totally crazy!) you can map out a path, you can identify hurdles and figure out how to get around them.
Ditch the Excuses
If only my husband… If only I didn’t have my kids… If only I had kids… If I only had… If I had more money… more time… more whatever! Kill those thoughts. Here is how to do it. Many of your concerns are valid. You do have to take your family and financial situation into consideration, but instead of just using them as excuses, frame them more like a hurdle to be solved.
If your husband is not on board with your plans, have a discussion with him and find out what his issues are and address them. If he is concerned about money, come up with a budget and a plan that both of you can live with.
If your kids are little and take up a lot of your time right now, join a group of mom’s like you so you can share the child care and free up some time.
There are ways around your problem, you just have to get a little creative to solve them
As the old saying goes, Rome was not built in a day. Solving tough problems takes time, and sometimes you have to step back and regroup. Grant yourself a little grace and have a little patience. If you feel stuck, grab a motivational book that can give you some ideas and keep you going.
My two current favorites are “Secrets of Six Figure Women” by Barbra Stanny and “48 Days to Work You Love” by Dan Miller. Both books are inspirational and have journal exercises to help narrow your focus and get you on the right track again.