Failure. We fear it. We don’t want to feel like failures, don’t want others to see us as failures. At its root, it’s an ego thing, really because we falsely believe others don’t fail, but we know deep down that is not true, either.
Believing we are failures is a limiting belief designed to keep us from success. We are not failures, but we all fail from time to time. There is a vast difference between failing and being a failure. We become failures when we stop trying and accept defeat.
Some believe success is the opposite of failure, but it is not. Perseverance is the opposite of failure. The definition of perseverance is “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”. We will not succeed in every endeavor undertaken, but we will learn valuable lessons on the journey of success if we are open to growth.
Perseverance is the handmaiden of successful people. We look at successful people and assume their rise to success was easy, without trial or tribulation, but we are not privy to the backstory. Thomas Edison, clearly one of the most prolific inventors of the 20th century, failed more times than he succeeded. He is credited with inventing the lightbulb, however, he did not invent the lightbulb, merely improved it. Edison’s attempts at improvement numbered 1,000 times before he succeeded. Read that again. One-thousand times! That is perseverance. Edison did not consider the 1,000 attempts to improve the lightbulb failures, rather he was quoted as saying the improvements had 1,000 steps. And, Edison’s teachers in his younger years had declared him “too stupid to learn”. Good thing Edison didn’t internalize their short-sighted limiting beliefs.
It is okay to fail. Life does not come to an abrupt end when we fail. It may feel like it, but feelings are just feelings; they do not define who we are as people. Tomorrow is another day, another opportunity to grow, to learn, to succeed. Today’s failed attempts will be tomorrow’s successes on a ladder with a thousand steps…..