By Dr. Jeff and Tammy Logue
When we hear the word failure it usually does not bring about a good feeling. Traditionally, that word makes us feel bad. We look at it as a four letter word that we avoid. Contrary to widespread belief, failure is not final. I have actually counted the letters in failure and it is not a 4 letter word. I know – you can count just like me, however, many people view failure as a “terrible poisonous potion” that will surely bring sudden death to their lives. That sentence is funny when we put it in that context, isn’t it? Seriously though, if we are honest with ourselves we have ALL tried hard to avoid failure in our own lives.
The big question is why? I once heard an interview with nationally syndicated radio host, bestselling author and self-made millionaire, Dave Ramsey, say that people look at the mountain he stands on and all they see is his great success. He went on to say what they don’t realize is that massive mountain is really a pile of failures that over time, elevated him to his enormous success. Failures, over time, taught him what DID work, what DIDN’T work, and illuminated a light that guided him to success. So I ask you again, why are we afraid of failure?
Jack Canfield, author of the widely famous books, Chicken Soup for the Soul has said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Jack Canfield would know this well. His book was rejected by over 140 publishers before being accepted and going on to sell over 100 million copies! Had Mr. Canfield accepted his first round of rejections we would not be reading his books today. He refused to accept those “failures” as the final word on his work.
Failure is not your identity! It is simply a moment in time that things didn’t work out the way you had planned. Winston Churchill was quoted as saying, “Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.” This tells me that once I hit a road block, or experience failure, I need to take a look at what happened and change my game plan.
I would challenge you to risk everything in order to achieve what you dream of. Now, I can almost guarantee you WILL fail at some point. However, that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. What you learn with that one incident – is what does NOT work. Once you figure out what doesn’t work, re-configure your game plan and go for it again.
Wherever you are in life it is important for you to view failure as a personal stepping stone towards the success you seek. Without failure, there is rarely success.
Perhaps Thomas Edison summed it up best when he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”