There is No Success Without Failure – Steps for Conquering Adversity

I never failed once. It just happened to be a 2000-step process.
— Thomas Edison

For anyone who has experienced any degree of success in their lives it is clear that it simply did not fall into their laps.  The biggest challenge people face in deciding to make a change in their lives is facing disappointment.  Before deciding to take a step toward their dreams the majority of people listen to the negative self talk and are stopped dead in their tracks.  They hold their negative thoughts as gospel, a certainty, a fated path.  But that’s simply not the case.  Thoughts are powerful, either way.  They can either stop you or motivate you. 

Other people are able to silence the negative speech long enough to attempt a new job, relationship or personal goal.  But the first bump in the road has them running back to where it is safe; a previous job, person or living situation.  If they fail in an endeavor they take it to mean just what their negative thoughts were “pointing” to all along.

“I told you it wouldn’t work.”

“It’s for the best it didn’t work out.  That would have been really difficult to do.”

“It’s better that you stick to something you are familiar with.”

The truly successful, which can be absolutely everyone, stifle their oppositional self talk, take a step and fall.  Yup, they fall; they fall flat on their faces.

Here is the difference though.  They get up.  They get up and assess what went wrong.  They use that setback as a tool.  They use that failure as a resource.  It’s actually exciting for some people to fail because that knowledge allows them to improve upon what they are attempting to accomplish.  This mindset isn’t wildly abnormal.  It is the hallmark of the successful.  It’s a trait we can all possess. 

Be Scientific

Don’t personalize the issue as something you did wrong.  When faced with failure look at it as a opportunity to learn.  Take yourself out of the picture and face the issue as simply as if it were an everyday problem, objectively.  Here’s a great example, really nuts and bolts.  You are getting ready to take a shower.  You run your hand under the faucet in the tub and it seems fine to the touch.  You turn on the overhead shower and step it.  Once you get in you determine it’s either too hot or too cold, so you adjust the temperature.  You didn’t fail at taking a shower.  You noticed something was not working and you fixed it; successful shower!  It really is that simple.

See the bigger picture

Every goal is a series of smaller action steps.  The Wright Brothers wanted to fly but they certainly didn’t just hurl themselves off a cliff and hope it happened.  In fact their research and plan were incredibly detailed. The faced injuries and setbacks but persevered because the bigger picture was in sight.  They knew the challenges they had for controlling their first prototype was just one step to the overall goal of heavier-than-air flight

When you face a setback determine how this step fits into the overall plan.  See the end goal.  For more power with that goal actually see yourself accomplishing it.  Do you need another example?  Suppose you want to be in a relationship, possibly eventually get married.  If you have a bad date with someone you don’t forge the whole thing; you keep looking.  More to the point, you figure out what you didn’t like in that person and add it to the list of things to be aware of next time.

Don’t believe your thoughts 

Your mind does not have the ability to predict the future. Your mind wants you to be comfortable.  It plants negative thoughts in your mind to scare you, to immobilize you from being hurt or frustrated.  It attempts to show you all the things that could go wrong if you attempt your goal.  These thoughts are not reality. They are not a certainty.  They are illusions meant to keep you from trying.

One of the other challenges people face is silencing the negative thoughts that arise whenever they attempt a new goal.  The least effective process is to push the thoughts from your head.  Those thoughts will only become stronger.  Have you ever heard the saying, “What we resist, persists”?

Instead, acknowledge the thoughts but do not empower them.  An even more effective method is to literally say out loud,

“My thoughts are not a reality. I have the ability to be successful at (insert goal)”

Failure is inevitable.  Accept it but don’t allow it to cripple or stop you.  See it like most successful people do, as an opportunity to become even more successful.  Use it like you would any other tool you use for helping you complete something.  just look at Thomas Edison. He never failed.

Thom Walters