How Failure Fuels You

“Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” – Unknown
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” – Truman Capote
“Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” – Chinese Proverb
“Failure is ceasing to try.” – Edgar A. Guest

Failure is a fascinating topic – one that gets a lot of attention.

There is a constant stream of books and articles that tell us failure isn’t bad; that it’s actually necessary, and that we should embrace it. We are told that failure is the seed from which success grows. In professional offices across the country, there’s no shortage of framed posters with inspirational quotes about failure.

We are constantly reminded that the greatest thinkers, inventors and leaders of our time failed often throughout their lives, at times epically. But here’s the thing: these aren’t new revelations. Most of us already understand that failure is the catalyst for learning and growth. That success and achievement don’t come easily.

So, if this is something almost every adult human understands, why is fear of failure still listed as one of the most common fears? Why don’t more people achieve their goals and live the fulfilling life they always dreamed of? If failure is necessary for success, why don’t more people run toward failure instead of away from it?

Failure, like success, is defined differently by every single person. Its effect is also very different from one person to another. For some, it stokes an inner fire that drives them forward with even greater intensity. For others, it creates a paralysis that causes them to withdraw and even quit.

In my opinion, Suzy Kassem’s quote explains it best: “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”

It’s not the failure we fear, but rather what the failure may say about us as a person. What if that failed moment is an indication of a greater truth – that we actually can’t, that we’re not smart enough, or that maybe we aren’t capable of great things after all. It’s not the failure, but the doubt we allow the failure to create that holds us back from achieving our goals and reaching our true potential.

This phenomenon can best be summed up by the Law of Self-Control. What we think about, and even what we tell ourselves, determines what we believe. It’s these beliefs that influence the actions we choose to take, or not take. And these actions, or lack thereof, ultimately decide the outcomes (good and bad) that we experience. Although only our actions can determine our outcomes, everything begins with our thoughts.

“The greatest achievements of men were, at first, nothing but dreams of the minds of men who knew that dreams are the seedlings of achievements.”
-Napoleon Hill

If the outcomes we experience are ultimately determined by our thoughts, then by thinking with more intention, and making a habit of replacing negative and destructive thoughts with productive and positive thoughts, we can stop allowing failure to fuel our self-doubt – and start using it as fuel to help propel us forward.

If you’re ready to move forward, using past failure as a source of motivation and future success for yourself and your business, contact me today. All it takes is one discussion to put a personalized plan in action.

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