If you want to experience success, don’t we first have to experience defeat? How could we fully appreciate a triumph if we don’t know failure?
Theodore Roosevelt said, “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
The sweet joy of triumph! When we succeed at a challenging task, solve a complicated problem, or reach a goal, we rejoice. We are elated. Failures fade away because we have achieved a milestone. Would we know the feeling of triumph without the awareness of defeat? Isn’t our recognition of a win enhanced by the missteps we made along the way? Every day I must remind myself that it is imperative to risk failure in order to find success. If I wait for the best opportunity, then I will miss many openings for progress. So many of our daily decisions are affected by timing. Yet rarely is our timing perfect.
If we want success and to experience triumph, then we must act. Nelson Mandela said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Today was made for challenges. Today was made for triumph. We can take the leap of faith that is needed to overcome.
So how do you handle a setback? Do you let it rule your day or even your whole week? Does it ruin all of the progress you have made already? Many of us have to learn how to handle failures better and reap the lessons learned from failed businesses as Ashley Lee told us in an AccelaWork article.
Being afraid of failure is a natural, human instinct. It’s not something that we can necessarily control. Yet, interestingly enough, the best way to fight this particular fear is by embracing it! We must say to ourselves, failure is not a weakness but a starting off point for even sweeter success. After all, mistakes are what we use to anticipate and prevent future problems. Without them, processes could never improve, products rarely enhanced. When something appears perfect from the start, we would never dare to rethink and reinvent. Instead, we would find ourselves at a standstill. Where then would our creativity and need for innovation lead us? Nowhere I suspect.
It won’t happen over night. As Ashley stated, it’s sort of ingrained in us to be afraid of failing. The stress that comes along with that fear is enough to knock any of us flat on our backs. What can you do to counteract this? Try writing down what you’re grateful for in your life. No, really! A study out of the University of Miami by Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough has proven that giving thanks instead of counting your burdens can ease your stress.
One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
I think it’s time to start taking on the positive mindset and give thanks for all of your achievements!