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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How Do You Define Failure?


What do you consider failure to be? Is it what occurs when you don't succeed in whatever you just tried? Let me ask you: how often have you tried? And: how many different ways of trying did you employ? Did you then stop? Think of a toddler learning how to walk. How often does he not fall? How often, therefore - in your way of looking at failure - has he failed?  And therefore should he now stop - as you do, when something doesn't work in your world? Should the toddler give up and label himself a failure due to not having managed to walk after several failed attempts at doing so?

You, of course, know that he should not stop, and you know this because almost all children (yourself - unless you were physically handicapped - included) learn in that very same way: trying, falling, trying, falling yet again, trying, and falling, until finally they hardly ever fall, having then quite successfully mastered the skill. They reached their goal. To get there, they tried, and tried, and tried again. At the beginning it might have been by holding on to tables, or conveniently placed women's legs, skirts, or men's pants, or a chair. They used every opportunity to help them become successful. They never stopped.

No Negative Self-Dialogue: One of the major reasons they never stopped is because they did not yet have some self-dialogue running in their heads like you do saying things such as:
  • You'll never manage to get there.
  • You're no good at this.
  • You never succeed at anything.
  • Why should you succeed at this, if you've never succeeded at anything else?
No Well-Meaning but Negative Friends: Another reason they never stopped is because they haven't yet made friends with any of those well-meaning people that probably populate your world, and that say things like:
  • That's way too hard
  • Do you have any idea how long it will take you to do that? 
  • Oh, I know a bunch of people who tried that and they just couldn't make it work. 
  • Do you have any idea what people will think if you do that?
A Large Group of Well-Meaning Supporters: Finally, perhaps the most important reason the toddlers never stopped trying is because they had a large group of well-meaning supporters surrounding them: parents and family, who encouraged them and cheered them on at every step (and fall) of the way.

It was Einstein who said: You never fail until you stop trying.  You too can get that negative self-dialogue out of your head, can stop paying attention (or even giving time) to those well-meaning but negative friends, and find some encouraging supporters to cheer you on as you try to once again take your next step (possibly for the 24th time).

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My new book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is now out globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch


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