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Failure is not the End

Failure is disappointing. Repeated failure is soul destroying. Your understanding of failure can be a source of growth and success or a source of depression.

When one member of a relationship feels they are a failure, this can often lead to frustration, anger and an emotional or physical withdrawal from the relationship.

When we say we have failed, what we mean is we have not achieved a goal that we decided on. The goals that we set in life are many times based on what we see other people doing coupled with an expectation that we should have that too. In other words the goals that we fail to achieve, could actually be the goals of someone else and not our own at all.

There are some common mistakes that can lead to failure

* We are aiming for a goal that is not ours but actually someone else’s. As a result our heart is not in it.

* There are times when we go for goals for which we just do not have the skills to achieve. You have a lot of skills that if harnessed properly and used to achieve the goals that really belong to you, then you can become successful.

* We are aiming for the right goal, but using the wrong methods to get there. In other words we don’t know how to do it.

* We’re doing the right things to achieve our goal but the timing is wrong.

I found in my experience both personally and observing other people, that we can have a valid goal, have the right skill set, but lack the knowledge to achieve it or are trying to force it to happen in circumstances that just will not support that goal. The frustration of failure is greatly magnified by repeating this continually. Do the same thing over and over again and you will get the same result every time. If this sounds familiar, it is advantageous to consult with somebody who is not so invested in what you are trying to achieve. They can look at it with a different viewpoint and can help you find different approaches.

One of the worst outcomes of failure is that we fail to learn, we fail to grow and we fail to change our approach. In my opinion, the worst outcome of failure is attributing that failure to a defect in yourself. Why describe yourself as a worthless waste of time, when your failure is related to the common mistakes that can lead to failure.

It is easy to look at successful people, envy them and compare ourselves to them. These comparisons themselves can leave you feeling like a failure. What we generally don’t know is many successful people have failed terribly on the path to that success.

Here are a few examples

Oprah Winfrey

*Born to a teenage low-income mother
*Her early living conditions were pretty rough.
*She was sexually abused.
*At the age of 14 she got pregnant
*Her son died shortly after birth.
*She was sent to live with her father, Vernon, in Tennessee who helped her focus on her school work
*Accepted on a full scholarship to the University of Tennessee, majoring in communications.
*Interned at a local radio station during high school and college
*Hired by a local television station to do the news
*Fired by the producer because she “unfit for television”
*Took a position with another station in Baltimore.
*Eventually, hosting a local talk show named, People are Talking.
*In 1983, she re-located to Chicago, to host a station’s low-rated talk show called AM Chicago.
*This was renamed to The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was syndicated across the country.

J.K. Rowling

*In 1990, Rowling first had the idea for Harry Potter. She began writing furiously.

*Later that year, her mother died after 10 years of complications from Multiple Sclerosis.

*In 1992 she moved to Portugal to teach English where she met a man, married, and had a daughter.

*In 1993, her marriage ended in divorce

*At this point, she had three chapters of Harry Potter in her suitcase.

*Rowling saw herself as a failure at this time. She was jobless, divorced, penniless, and with a dependent child.

*She suffered through bouts of depression, eventually signing up for government-assisted welfare.

*In 1995 all 12 major publishers rejected the Harry Potter script.

*A year later a small publishing house, accepted it and extended a very small £1500 advance.

*In 1997, the book was published with only 1000 copies, 500 of which were distributed to libraries.

*In 1997 and 1998, the book won awards and the rest is history.

Thomas Edison

*Teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything,”
*Fired from his first two employment positions for not being productive enough.
*This famous American is attributed with failing over 10,000 times to invent a commercially viable electric lightbulb.
*When asked by a newspaper reporter if he felt like a failure and if he should give up, after having gone through over 9,000 failed attempts, *Edison simply stated “Why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitely over 9,000 ways an electric lightbulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.”
*However, Edison, despite his failures, is also the greatest innovator of all time with 1,093 US patents to his name, along with several others in the UK, and Canada.

Orville and Wilbur Wright:

*Battled depression and family illness before starting the bicycle shop that would lead them to experimenting with flight.
*After numerous attempts at creating flying machines, several years of hard work, and tons of failed prototypes, the brothers finally created a plane that could get airborne and stay there.

Abraham Lincoln:

*In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private
*He started numerous failed business
*He was defeated in numerous runs he made for public office.
*Finally he had political success and became President
*He is remembered as one of the greatest leaders of America

Walt Disney:

*He was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
*Started a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure.
*He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.
*Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world

Failure is not the end and does not define who you are. There are many reasons that you can be failing.

If you believe that you are a failure and call Tracey on 07 3458 1725 and I’ll help you move beyond failure.

Examples of people who have failed taken from


(c) StartPoint Counselling 2015

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