Transformation requires a fundamentally different mindset, a new and better way of thinking. No where is this more needed that when it comes to the use of the word failure. I don’t believe in using this word any more. I believe the word failure should either be redefined or eliminated from our vocabulary.
That brings us to step #10 of Transformation – I am going to either eliminate failure from my vocabulary or redefine the word in a more positive way that works for me.
Look up the word failure in the dictionary and you see defining words such as unsuccessful, nonperformance, insufficiency, deterioration, decay, bankrupt, insolvency and synonyms such as breakdown, decline, deficiency, wreck, and defeat. It is all so negative.
Really? Is this the terminal end result for failure 100% of the time? Is this all you get from failure, less or nothing at all?
A less than expected or negative result does not automatically mean failure. I submit that it never means failure. A negative result is still a result and therefore has positive value or potential. Each time we say we fail at something we learn something valuable, if we so choose. Our “failures” are a form of payment for learning those valuable lessons.
Repeating what is taught, is learning what is already known. Where is the risk in that? Where is the mystery in that? Attempting to create something new and failing in the attempt is a voyage of self-discovery, something you won’t learn in a classroom. A classroom is where learning takes place. Life outside the classroom is where your education takes place.
Ask any successful person if they have ever had to confront failure and they will probably tell you that their past is littered with them; hosts of them, long strings of them. They will also probably tell you that were it not for those failures they would have never achieved their success.
So, do successful people actually produce failures or construct springboards for success? Do they make mistakes or create opportunities for more positive outcomes? Do they under-perform or establish long-term trend lines for successful growth? In this sense, doesn’t FAILURE = SUCCESS for them?
I believe it is time for you to redefine the word failure in a way that works for you and eliminate the word from your vocabulary. It will change your mindset. If you rename failure ” my avatar for arrested progress” then it is time to run toward your avatar for arrested progress, embrace it, extract knowledge from it, then rip it up and use the pieces as building blocks for your next attempt at a more successful outcome. All successful people will do this.
If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost. – Zig Ziglar
It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure. – Bill Gates
Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit. – Napoleon Hill
What will you rename failure? How will you use this to your advantage? Please return soon for another installment in the Transformation Series.