Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Are You A Failure?
I have a personal story to tell you about my encounter with the word 'failure'.
Years ago I decided that I wanted to be a physician's assistant. Just in case you don't know what that is: a physician's assistant (PA) is a trained individual in the medical field that assists doctors. They can do what a physician does.
I made it into the top 100 candidates and it was time for the interviews. I was not looking forward to this day but I went. I did fine until I got to my last interviewer. To make this story short, one of the questions that he threw at me was this: Have you ever failed?
Oh! my gracious. I sat there like a dummy. I was frozen in place and time. My brain kept going through my life trying to find something that I had failed at. Minutes seem to rush by like race cars at the speedway. Surely I had failed at something but for the life of me I couldn't think of anything. So, I just sat there, looking at him like he was crazy.
So, he asked me this, in a very sarcastic, smug voice, "If you failed at something how would you handle it?" That certainly didn't make sense to me. How would I know? And his attitude was becoming just a little bit nasty. After all, I hadn't answered his other question. In my thinking if I hadn't answered the first question, how in the world could I answer the second one. So I left. I determined that I didn't want this man teaching me anything.
I don't think that we really know how we will handle any kind of failure until that failure is with us.
Finally, years later, it dawned on me that the word "failure" was not in my vocabulary. Yes, I have not always accomplished something that I set out to do, but is that failure? I don't necessarily think so.
Failure to me can only be decided by the individual. It is in the mind and thinking of that person. Understand this: no one else can tell me that I have failed at something. I have to come to that conclusion by myself. Likewise the same is true of you - you are the only person on this earth that can decide if you have failed or not.
As network marketers we see so called "failures" on a constant basis. But, are these people really failures? I can't answer that but I bet the so-called "top dogs, already made-it-network marketers will. They base this conclusion on their perception of what someone didn't accomplish. And, that is what 'failure' means.
For those of you that feel as if you have failed because of something you read that was written by someone else, forget it.
Failure is within you. It is the way you perceive yourself. It is how you feel about yourself. Maybe you just didn't jive with the company or the person working with you and you decided to move on.
We can fail, make no mistake about that, but it is totally up to you whether you consider yourself a failure or not. It is not my decision. It is not your families decision. Nor is it anyone elses decision. It is YOUR decision and yours alone.
One of the worst failures to me that most people make and continue to make is not believing in them self. Their fear of failure keeps them from trying - from moving on. Another one is not going all out, being consumed with reaching your dreams but never taking that step.
"The only real failure in life is the failure to try."
Success is cramped packed with failures. This is a fact. All of the now famous inventors, visionaries and dreamers failed many times before realizing their success.
"Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals." —Jim Rohn
And, some of those fundamentals is learning to accept your failures, learning from them and letting them go. Never allow failure to fester inside you to the point that it boils over and destroys your love and passion for what you want. Failure will happen. Make the most of it. Grow within from it.
Only you can make your failure your epitaph.
PS You only fail to accomplish your purpose when you allow yourself to believe you are a failure. Failure is a mistake you made. Learn from it. Then your failure will become your success. Soichiro Honda states it best: "Success is 99% failure."