Perception of Failure and Success

What is your idea of success? A healthy view of success and failure plays an important role in the achievement of our goals. One man’s failure is another man’s stepping stone. Let’s explore just how crucial those views really are to reaching your goals, shall we?

Success, according to society, is the positive outcome of a desire. For example, think about those who want to start their own business. In order to be successful, establishing a business would need to happen. The ultimate success, which is what most people are looking for when they set goals, would be creating a profitable business.

Along the way to a fulfilled goal, there are many steps in between. Some will be solid and some rocky. How we handle these steps will determine whether we reach our ultimate success or not.

Failure can be thought of as not meeting our goal. To help better understand think of what it’s like when a runner, competing in the 100-meter dash has a goal of finishing first. When he or she doesn’t quite reach the goal and comes in second, third or any place but the one that earns them the blue ribbon that can be thought of as failure.

Have you ever heard of losing the battle but winning the war? We are conditioned to see any type of setback as a failure and only winning as a success. With goals this presents a unique challenge. There is a need to learn to stretch our minds beyond conditioning into new realms.

First of all, each of the steps we mentioned above can have an outcome that is different from the final outcome. Goal setters need to know that each step leading to a goal is fluid – they are subject to change at any time. In this way, we are able to amend our final goal or choose a new path to follow to reach our initial goal.

Let’s try an example. There is a person who wants to learn a new language. Their goal is to learn to speak Italian within a year. First, they start off by taking a course at the local college.

They don’t get along with the teacher’s style of instruction so at the end of the semester, they haven’t learned much. With that step, our person can abandon their goal as a failure or view this as a setback. In the second instance, it is necessary to choose a new path for the ultimate goal.

This time, our person chooses a DVD language learning series. The instruction allows them to set a pace they can live with and use fun visuals to supplement the voice of a native speaker. Six months later, they understand and are speaking passable Italian. The first step in this goal could be categorized as a failure but, because they didn’t give up and simply readjusted their steps, the goal itself was still accomplished and considered a success.

Suspending our perception of failure and success is necessary when setting goals. Each task on our goal’s to-do list can be a success or failure but that doesn’t mean our entire goal will be unsuccessful.

I’ve just completed a 4-Part series on Creating and Effective Business Plan and invite you to listen to the playback audio (Diva Talk Radio).  This series concentrated on goals and business planning.  Be sure to pick up the Action Guides that accompany the series and leave me a comment.

Until next time…wear your heels well!


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