There’s so many challenges in life. Sometimes we blow it. What do you do when you feel like a failure? As a professional psychologist, may I start with this? You are never wrong about how you feel? And I say that because how you feel is 100% consistent with the way you think.
The feelings are just a natural consequence of our thought patterns. Part of my job is to illuminate those thought patterns to you so that you can take a look at them. Consider this idea: We look from our thoughts or we look at our thoughts. We look from our thoughts or we look at our thoughts. Do you hear the difference?
Until you’re aware of your thoughts and take a look at them, you’re going to operate from them. That’s why I’m here, to illuminate those thoughts to you. So that you can see what’s going on. You feel like a failure. Okay, you’re not wrong about that FEELING.
But there’s a thought pattern that’s causing the feeling. Let’s take a look at that. Vicki and I were watching a television program recently where this thought came up and I thought it was beautiful. Failure is not the opposite of success. It’s part of it. Think about what i’m saying.
Failure is not the opposite of success. It’s part of it. I’m thinking of many powerful examples of this. Dr. John Maxwell wrote a book called failing forward. I love that title. One of my favorite advisors on personal finance Robert Kiyosaki who wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad said, “If you want to succeed, start failing faster.”
My buddy Brett Harward wrote a book called the 5 Laws That Determine All Of Life’s Outcomes. And one of those is the law of frequency. Meaning the frequency of failure. How many times are you failing? Let’s get it going at a faster rate to increase your success.
One of my favorite animated movies, Meet The Robinsons has a scene where there’s a spectacular failure and the family applauds this failure. They’re so happy about it. Why? Well, one of the family members points out, “Failures are really valuable. You can learn a lot from your failures.
Successes, not so much.” Love that. Thomas Edison was accused of having failed thousands of times in creating an electric light bulb. And his response was, “I didn’t fail. I’ve identified successfully thousands of ways that this doesn’t work.” It’s part of the success.
Michael Jordan, the basketball legend said, “I have failed over and over and over in my career and that is why I succeed.” Let’s consider an alternate definition for failure. It’s not the opposite of success. It’s part of it. So, what to do if I feel like a failure?
And hopefully you’re seeing that your thinking has something to do with that feeling. And if you can change the thinking, you might be able to change the feeling. Practice looking at your thoughts, not from them. Look at your thoughts about failure. How you’re defining it? How you define success?
What if we could look at this in a way that it’s not even possible to fail? That might actually change some things. I’m also going to go out on a limb here and do something that gets me fired sometimes. With that disclaimer, get outside of your pride.
That pride, that destructive pride that has you thinking that you are a special case. You’re not. I’m not saying you’re not special. I love you. You’re special. Jjust like everybody else. You’re not a special case. You are just as qualified to fail as anybody else.
Now, notice how I said that? You’re just as qualified as anybody else. The only way to not fail is to not try. Is that really the position you want to be in? I think it was Wayne Gretzky that said, you will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. The fact that you’re failing indicates that you’re in the game.
You’re playing, you’re taking some shots, you’re trying. Success is not the opposite of failure, failure is not the opposite of success. It’s part of it. So, I invite you in the most loving and confrontive way that i can to get outside of your destructive pride and realize that you are not a special case.
You are equally entitled to success as anybody on the planet. Enough with thinking that “I shouldn’t fail, it shouldn’t happen to me. I’m a failure. Because i did fail. I’m a failure because i failed.” No. Let’s end the destructive pride and realize that we’re playing the game and you’re in good company.
All of this is great philosophy, right? And hopefully, that gets you thinking a little bit. There’s another step that I have to suggest right now and that is to take courageous action. Don’t let your failures from the past convince you that you are a failure. You’re not. You’re a person who’s playing the game. Take courageous action.
Now, the word courage implies fear. If you don’t have a little bit of fear, it’s not courage. And you’re probably not thinking big enough. Jump in. Feel the fear and do it anyway. That’s the title of a book by Dr. Susan Jeffers. And I love the title. It’s a powerful message that yes you’re going to feel some fear and some apprehension.
That might mean that you’re thinking big enough to stretch you a little bit. Are you going to fail again? Yes. And that is good news because failure is part of success. Not the opposite of it. Jump in with courage, move forward with power. You have what it takes to create some powerful things in this world.
And if you don’t take the shot, the world will never know what you had to offer. Failure? Yeah. It’s part of success. It’s not your name, it’s not your definition, it’s not who you are. It’s part of what you do. I get really fired up about empowering you to be the amazing beautiful person that you are and to step forward with courage.
If you want some help doing that, let me and my team help you out. Come over to drpauljenkins.com. There are some phenomenal resources there that you maybe didn’t even know existed. drpauljenkins.com. See you there.