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What Does Failure Mean to You?

It is the worst feeling in the world, yet we all go through it. Yes, failure. It is extremely difficult to discover that we fall short in any way, shape, or form. When we find that we don’t measure up, it can be a real hit to our self-confidence. When our self-esteem suffers, it can cause issues further down the line with depression and other serious consequences. Without confidence, our personal relationships and view of ourselves suffer tremendously. In short, if we let it get the best of us, failure can start some people on a negative spiral. However, failure can be the best teacher. Changing the way you look at failure can actually help you grow as an individual and actually help propel you to success.

Vision of success

Some might argue that it is a society that puts too much pressure on us to succeed. We are given a tailor-made definition of success from a young age. We envision success as having a lot of money and doing whatever it takes to be at the top. However, that vision of success is not often personally crafted and tailored to align with our passions. That can be dangerous, especially if you are a creative and spirited person who thrives with an abundance of self-expression and innovation.

It seems that the world is cruel to creative types, but this can be avoided in some capacity by changing your perspective. It is our own minds that become our cages. When we accept society’s definition of success rather than defining it for ourselves, that is when the trouble really begins. The trouble becomes even worse when we begin to identify ourselves as failures because we are not meeting the criteria for the definition of success.

Fortunately, there is no law in the universe that states that we have to accept society’s definition of failure and tag it on to ourselves as some kind of self-condemning label that we drag around for the rest of our lives and suffer immensely for. We have to learn how to redefine failure so that we are able to see it as an opportunity rather than a death sentence.

A failure is a temporary event

For many, this is easier said than done, but it is possible. No matter who you are, you can define failure for yourself. It can be many things, but one thing is for certain. It is not an identity. You are not a failure. Remember, it is a temporary event. No matter what you do or don’t do, failure is not a personality label. You can apply failure to the failure to achieve specific goals or completing tasks, that you yourself are never a failure. You should get that into your head now loud and clear.

Instead, redefine failure as an opportunity to see your task in a different light. Whatever your goal may be, there are many paths that you can take that will lead you to success. When a reporter asked Thomas Edison, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” If you are not willing to take the time to analyze your choices and examine why certain things have succeeded and others have not, then you are missing out on the gift the failure can give you.

View failure as an opportunity

By viewing failure in a different light, you are providing yourself with the chance to begin to see opportunities where you once saw roadblocks. This is a powerful strategy that will open up many new doors for you and allow you to garner confidence in yourself rather than feeling defeated by the expectations that you had set up for yourself. View failure as an opportunity, as a lesson learned and not as a death sentence! According to the book The Millionaire Next Door, the average millionaire has gone bankrupt at least 3.5 times. Successful individuals often see failure as the best teacher.

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