FAILURE. We’ve all had that feeling, that intense feeling of disappointment when we do not accomplish what we set out to do. It can be a terrible feeling. What’s important to realize, is that failure is just that – a feeling. Ideas of failure vary person to person, much like feelings of success. To some, success is accomplishing one single goal. To others, success is being able to keep one’s head above water during rough times. To many, it’s the perception of becoming “rich and famous” while to others, being rich and famous does not feel like success at all. So if success is subjective, failure must be as well. Failure has more to do about how we feel than what we’ve actually done. Failure is not only a feeling, it’s a blinding one. To put one’s entire life in a category and say “I’ve failed” can leave one feeling not only disheartened but lacking the motivation needed to persevere. There is little that we can gain when we feel this way.
When we say that we have failed, have we really? If there is still a way that we can succeed, then how can we say that we’ve totally failed? There are of course, always setbacks and obstacles, but re-framing how we look at these setbacks can be really helpful. Try looking at the benefits of not accomplishing a goal immediately:
- Setbacks make us more resilient to obstacles and more appreciative of accomplishments
- What we are striving for may not be right for us in the moment.
- We often achieve many small goals while striving toward bigger goals
- Not accomplishing a goal gives us the opportunity to learn from our previous mistakes
- When aiming toward that goal again, we will have a much better idea on how to accomplish it.
Ask yourself, are you considering yourself a failure or are you acknowledging that you are someone who has failed? What does success actually look like to you? What have you learned from past mistakes? What have you accomplished along the way? What do you truly want to achieve? Will these achievements make you happy? What’s holding you back?
Try writing these things out and see if it changes how you feel about failure and success.
After understanding what failure and success really means to us, we can better go after what we truly desire wholeheartedly without letting feelings of failure stop us. The truth is positive perseverance is what ultimately leads to success (any kind of success). The more we try something, the higher the probability that we will achieve it. Furthermore, remaining positive and optimistic not only increases one’s likelihood for success but it also makes the journey so much more enjoyable.