The Internet is full of people talking about failure. Whereas some use the term fail often or even fail more, others seem to resent the term failure as some kind of weakness or a sign people accept that it is okay to fail.
Now although I understand where both sides are coming from I feel the focus is in the wrong area. I have personally experienced both sides of this coin first hand when working around the world.
In my career, I worked for American companies on global teams and handled the Middle East region where the thinking around failure was simply a learning process, a stepping stone if, and this is the main point; if you acquired experience or bounced back from failure stronger. People admired this or celebrated your achievement and strength. In the UK however, things are very different.
In the UK people get very nervous if you say you had any failure in your career. Whether this was a business or a position you may have held, it is shunned and brushed under the carpet as if that experience defines you as a person, as in you are a failure! This is regardless of what you achieved after that experience.
I have, like everyone, had very dark moments in my personal and professional life and although they were frightening and even life-threatening at times I can tell you the person I came out the other side of each one of these moments is a stronger, more knowledgeable and experienced individual. These moments are not something you can learn on a course or in a book you have to go through them to gain experience that you have to use in the next part of your life. Failure is a single moment, something that is temporary if you have the right attitude or defeat if you allow it.
And this really is the key for me regarding failure, it is not whether a failure is something that should be shunned, hidden or even celebrated. It is the action that follows failure that is what defines us, it is what we do with that experience, hurt and even pain after a failure that is where the whole discussion should be focused. Because after failure, you have a choice to either believe you have a limit of what you can achieve in this life, or you learn from the experience and use it to propel yourself to greatness!
We live in a world where perfection is championed and anything less is frowned upon. Whether this is a business idea, our bodies, or just the way we post on social media, we are constantly being judged. Most often than not though the harshest judge of all is ourselves, so why do we do this to ourselves?
We have allowed ourselves to be victims in a world that is paralyzed with getting things wrong, making a mistake or waiting to do anything because we are unable to make it prefect. When did this happen in our world? We reached this point in our history from pushing the boundaries, exploring unchartered seas and experimenting over and over again until we got it right.
Throw off that fear of getting it wrong or not being perfect and a whole new world opens up to you. Understand that the greatest people or those who we see as successful now where not always that way. Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and any other icon of our world have always said they didn’t always get it right.
But that is why they did eventually become successful, because they broke away from the pack that were all worrying about making a mistake, being perfect or just petrified that someone would say you got it wrong. Most of the world is living in that state of fear, worried what others, so called friends, might say, think or do if we tried and failed. And let’s be honest most of the world are still unhappy. So you have to ask yourself one question, ‘Do you want a life like most of the world who are unhappy or do you want a life where you are not paralysed by fear?’
Some of the greatest people of our time have been college or school dropouts, people who the system declared that they would not amount to anything. People like Dr John Demartini, the famed global motivational speaker who appeared on the hit movie The Secret, who when faced with Dyslexia and other learning difficulties left school and became a surfer in Hawaii. Fate changed Dr John Demartini’s life though when he decided that he would change his life and learn to read. It wasn’t easy but then anything worth achieving in life rarely is.
Self-help books are remarkable sources of guidance and help for millions of people around the world every day. Every single one of them gives important tips and motivation to change their lies. But the thing is if you as an individual are not truly prepared to change your life, you will be very disappointed with the outcome of anything you read. Because when an individual decides to do something there is nothing in this universe that can stop them.
An individual with the courage, determination and belief that they can change something, no matter how big or small, is an unstoppable force and one that will, once you start gaining momentum, journey to places or experiences that you couldn’t have dreamed possible before. Our problems come from the walls we build up around us that justify why we are not worthy of achieving our dreams. We often think we are not smart enough, not rich enough or any other excuse that keeps us where we are. We even blame other people or powers for us not being able to change when the only thing stopping you; is you. So if that is the case, what is stopping you?
You are too smart to be the only thing that is standing between you and your dreams. Take that first small step in that journey towards being happy. Be grateful for what you have now and know that within you is a power that is so intense, so creative and so immense that once unleashed; will open up doors to a better life. Your road ahead is either paved with walls you put up or with dreams waiting for you to realize, only you can decide which it will be.