Often when people hear the word failure the immediate thought is to the definition of “lack of success”, and to be honest I fall into this category. What we all forget is that failure also means “the action or state of not functioning”. This second definition is why I am writing this post. Today’s society puts so much emphasis on being “successful” that people feel inadequate and like “failures” for not meeting expectations laid out by societal norms, but what is success? How one person measures success is not going to be identical to how someone else measures success. Is success the size of your house? Or how expensive your car was? Or the number of commas in your bank account? Is it the brand on the tags of your clothing? Or is it the amount of meaningful relationships in your life? Is it that you wake up every day excited to go to your job? Or is it that you wake up with a sense of purpose and belonging?
No matter how you define success, there will be ways in which you do not to meet that standard throughout your day or week or month etc. What I am sharing with you all is that as a human being you are allowed to have off days and not be “perfect” every day. This innate human characteristic of imperfection does not mean you are a failure. Failure comes when you choose to not to do something that you are uncomfortable with or not as skilled at, for the sole reason you are scared to “fail”. Omittance of action or being in a “state of not functioning” is failure. Choosing to not take a risk, is choosing failure; and you only truly fail if you learned nothing from your experience. Malcolm Forbes says “failure is success if we learn from it”; and I would have to agree.
So, the next time you think to yourself that you aren’t going to do something because you don’t want to “fail”, just remember you have failed through your refusal to give it a shot. You will never be successful with something if you do not give it a go. In the wise words of the great Michael Scott [ 😉 ] “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. Believe in yourself and remember that every time you “fail”, you are merely learning what doesn’t work and getting closer to discovering what needs to be done to reach your goals.
I will leave you with this thought from Vernon Howard:
“You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need”