Quit not…Look forward to your own failure with the utmost intent of using it as a stepping stone to Success.
“I haven’t failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” — Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison dreamed of a lamp that could be operated by electricity, began where he stood to put to his dream into action and despite more than ten thousand failures, he stood by that dream until he made it a physical reality
Michael Jordan, considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time, was devastated when he was dropped from his high school basketball team! A then-young Michael Jordan went home and cried in the privacy of his bedroom.
“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed!” is what he has to say about failure!
’’Failure is inevitable. Success is elusive.” These are the words from one of the greatest movie producer of our time — Steven Spielberg. Steven was rejected both times he applied to attend film school at the University of Southern California (USC). That didn’t stop him. Spielberg has grossed $8.5 billion from films he directed.
Oh, and after Spielberg became famous USC (the same institution that rejected him) awarded him an honorary degree, and Spielberg later became a trustee of the university.
Look up the countless biography of the great minds that have ever lived and you will not miss the feature of failure which appears to be consistent across their stories.
Why do we avoid the thought of failure?
Let’s take a dive into the moment and find the silence in the noise.
The Idea of Failure
Failure is simply considered as a state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective and may be viewed as the opposite of success.
The book concept of what failure is what we have been fed with right from childhood and based on this ideology, failure has been tagged a phenomenon that must not be experienced. Hence, we avoid it at all cost!
We have been taught to always stay positive and avoid negativity, without realizing that we could actually stay positive while we attend to the “negative” situations.
Come to think of it, this supposed negative situation most of the time open us to conditions that teach us ways our goals CANNOT be achieved. It is pertinent that this understanding sinks into the deepest core of our subconscious so as to see the true picture of our present situations which appears to us as “failure”.
In a society full of outright castigation for failure, it is very understandable why one tries as much as possible to avoid it.
Unfortunately for this ideology, that which you resist will always persist.
Failure is the hurdle that you need to overcome so that success can become a living reality.
Why avoid the basic element that drives you towards fulfilling your goal or dream?
The continuous mental consideration of what people will think of you if it all goes wrong has been an enigma that has restrained the majority from actualizing their dreams.
Practical dreamers do not quit!
Failure is considered a necessary part of the learning process, and the most interesting thing about it is that it gets us closer to the end goal of our dream only if we attend to it appropriately and decide to persist nonetheless, no matter what it is that might arise along the journey.
Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success.
Those who are afraid of new ideas are doomed before they start; why? Because they assume it is too big for them hence they quit on their dreams!
Thomas Edison dreamed of a lamp that could be operated by electricity, began the project, invested his energy in action and despite more than ten thousand failures, he stood by that dream until he made it a physical reality.
Every success story begins as a dream or an idea incited by action which drives it towards physical manifestation.
One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by mental defeat.
Who is the “defeated” and who is the “conqueror” in this instance depending on the perspective from which it is perceived?
It’s no one else but you of course! You create the dream and at the same create the boundaries and limits. It is an irony that every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another during the course of his or her journey.
The greatest people in history have one time in their career been a failure in the course of their journey. We remember these individuals as Success, treat their stories with great reverence and source of inspiration. But we almost forget that each of them failed epically and repeatedly to be where they are today.
Their failures have driven and pushed them to greater heights. These have made a positive impact in their environment in the long run and as a result of these achievements their names are inscribed in the book of history.
Why not take that first step now?
The Fear of Falling?
Fear is a consequence of an inability to manage the nature of one’s intellect.
The thought of leaving your present lifestyle for a “mere” dream or idea considering the fact that you have spent all of your Life building your present paradigm is very overwhelming.
This fear of failing is deeply rooted in the popular and generally accepted ideology of “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know“. This is basically a myopic scope to Life as it will not only stunt evolution but inhibit you from exploring your potentials.
It is very obvious that failure is viewed and related to negativity.
In a societal construct where success is praised and failure is condemned — it is normal for you to be scared of the thought of failure and hustle to be the best in whatever niche you find yourself even though it does not serve your essence.
A larger percentage of the public has held on to their present conditioned idea of a standard Life for no other reason but fear of their own dream not been able to be fulfilled if they ever opt out of the present status-quo.
Hence, the dream is abandoned while they hold on to their present conditioned niche for fear of losing out at both ends and hence suffering continues.
It is interesting to know that people do not know they are suffering until they are woken up by a traumatic event!
The fear of failure is one of a thousand reasons you might not want to start/do it!
It is so easy to get stuck in the shame of anticipated failure which inhibits us from taking that first step to actualizing our dreams.
This shameful feeling is what makes it worse. Transcending this feeling is very critical to revealing the next phase of our journey.
As a child, you didn’t just drop out of your mother and walked right away. In the build-up to your ability to walk, you went through phases — series of trials and failures… despite the fear of falling, you fell so that you can stand up again and you continued giving it another shot till the art of walking was mastered.
This is also very applicable to any dream you want to materialize.
How do I transcend the fear of failing?
The gap between now and fulfilling your dream is filled with “trials and failures” and getting caught in the cycle of “trials and failures” is a very compulsive trap that we get so lost in it that we miss the Light ahead of us!
First of all, one needs to understand that the thought that drives fear of failure is an anxiety alarm that the mind rings to call attention to the fact that it is not familiar with this terrain you are about to embark on.
Anxiety alarm is a natural occurrence the moment you make a decision to embark on an unknown territory. This is simply a result of your present paradigm (the multitude of habits/impressions that is fixed in your subconscious mind based on societal conditioning) trying to hold you where you are right now.
This is a survival instinct that needs to be challenged and it is pertinent that one transcends this paradigm if he or she wants to move on to achieve their goals/dream in Life.
The most important thing to understand at this phase of your journey is that the mind will initially reject whatever that is not in sync with the conditioning of your present environment.
This is where persistence comes in — a continual assurance to the mind that it’s going to be ok.
A deep understanding of this concept pushes you forth.
Rather than think of what or how events will go wrong, replace these thoughts with possibilities of events unfolding favourably towards achieving your goals despite the assumed failure that crop up.
Failure comes with Lessons
Failure brings you to a point of realization that exposes you to the things that need to die and the things that need to live.
It is quite understandable that it is very painful to fail at a project one is so passionate about.
Why does it feel so painful? Although everyone will have different answers to this inquiry, it is safe to say that people do not like the feeling that arises from a consequence of events not unfolding the way they thought it should. Of course, no one does!
The obvious is that events will not necessarily unfold according to plan but the ability to accept the situation and find a way around it makes you wiser.
The only way to defeat the concept of failure is by being keen to learn the lessons it present. This approach leads you to the next phase and before you know it it becomes a thrilling adventure that incites your drive to continue to the end.
Anticipate not the outcome and be engrossed with the process.
Quitting my banking job for my dream was a dreadful thought for me initially; most especially in an environment where the white collar job is held in high esteem. Such a decision will definitely be considered cloddish by anyone outside my own mind.
After a deep realization that the responsibilities of my job no longer serve my essence, It took me a whopping 2 years to actually come to that one in a Lifetime decision of taking that bold step.
“The great use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it.”
I knew that it’s going to be a challenging journey for me as I opt out of my comfort zone into a Life of uncertainties. I had reasons and doubts flip through my mind as the countdown to the decision became eminent but there was this deep insight that the first step is to quit and the path will become lit with what next to do.
It’s very funny that it took me a long time to realize that I can’t eat my cake and have it. I have to let go for possibilities to open up to me.
Lo and behold, from one phase to the other, I began to discover the potentials I have compromised to fit in the “standard”.
Survival is usually the big headache but the truth is that there are thousands of ways to fulfil this without been detrimental to your dream.
The moment you realize your potentials every other necessity will happen according to the need of the moment.
Building trust in one’s self comes with time but you really need to believe in yourself to have the courage to take that first step.
I began to learn how not to allow the thought of failure hold me back in my adventure.
Now, every time a challenge is experienced instead of feeling defeated, I accept it and evaluate the circumstances or situation so that I can learn how not to repeat the mistake again.
As time goes by, I began to feel the joy of exploring unknown territories and using these experiences to foster my potentials.
No matter what Life throws at you, you can always make it into a wonderful possibility – this is the power you have!
One interesting truth I have also come to realize during my journey is that; once you look beyond the pain and the obstacles of Life, you will be able to see the beauty and inspiration that Life has for you — the beauty of anticipated failure!
I replaced the thought that incites fear for failure with thoughts that incites looking forward to failure with the utmost intention to have a deep understanding of its lesson so I can move on to the next phase of my Life.
Failure has become an ally and a stepping stone to the fulfilment of my dreams.
When failure happens, there are two options; you can either become wounded or become wiser, the choice is always yours.
The moment failure is perceived as an opportunity to learn, growth and improvement become significant in your experience. It is both challenging and not all bad an experience. It is even great in the sense that you will eventually learn how to succeed through your failures, know one’s self and even achieve things you never thought you could.
What an adventure it is!
Do not let failure discourage you and don’t get caught in labelling failure as a completely negative thing. It is not failure that defines you but it is the way you deal with it and what you do afterwards that truly reflects your essence.
If you have not gotten to a place where your goal does not scare and excite you at the same time then it’s not a journey worth taking.
What is next?
Identify your dream/passion and leap into the uncertainties with nothing but Love for whatsoever outcome that comes your way.
As long as your mind has identified and fell in Love with the dream/idea, it is not impossible to achieve.
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
The journey to fulfilling your dream is typically a process of losing yourself to find Self!
Remember, failure is nothing but a stepping stone to Success.
Failure is Life’s way of nudging you to know when you are not on the right path.
Rather than rejecting the thought of failure, welcome it and be ready to use the outcome of the supposed failure as a platform to resolve your ignorance.
Stop thinking about the limitations of being human, it is high time you started thinking of the possibilities of being human!
Get out of your comfort zone or the idea society as created for you as a standard of living and explore your essence.
You only have one Life to live, create a purpose that resonates with your Heart and live it to its fullest!
Smiles… The silence has always been there! How could you have missed it?
Life is so Beautiful!
Love and Blessings.
Feel free to share your experience and views with me in the comment box below.