“Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn.”
If it was impossible to lose then it would also be impossible to win. This might seem like an odd statement, but if you’ve never experienced failure then you can’t experience success – one can’t exist without the other. This is because success and failure can only ever be what you determine them to be, so to experience what you believe to be success, you also need to have experienced what you believe to be failure. Of course, your version of success and failure is going to be different to someone else’s version, it all comes down to perception.
Your success or failure is controlled by you.
If you think of success and failure as opposite ends of a spectrum, where you position yourself on that spectrum is purely where you choose to position yourself. If you currently see yourself as a failure, what you’re experiencing is your perception of failure, but failure can only exist because success also exists, meaning that what you perceive to be failure is based purely on what you perceive to be success.
To succeed, you must accept that the potential to succeed only exists because the potential to fail also exists.
Accepting the potential to fail is quite different to expecting to fail. If you’re looking for failure, you’re going to find it. To succeed, you need to believe it’s possible for you to succeed, but you also need to accept that there are no guarantees.
Successful people accept that things don’t always go to plan. When things don’t work out, they don’t wallow around at the failure end of the spectrum, they take action and make the changes necessary to move themselves towards the success end. Stuff happens and things go wrong, but failures only remain failures if you fail to learn from them and use what you learn to make improvements next time.
Successful people succeed because there’s always a next time.
Making improvements means doing things differently next time. Think of life as a round of golf. Not every swing of your club is going to get you a hole-in-one, right? Some shots are going to land exactly where you planned, others are going to land in a bunker or out in the rough. Not getting directly where you wanted to go at the first attempt doesn’t mean you can’t get there at all.
Think of your goal in life as the 18th hole on a golf course. The 17 holes you need to play to get there represent the stepping-stone goals you need to take to keep moving towards your goal. You’ll play some of those holes on par, and you’ll no doubt play some over and perhaps even some under par, but no matter what happens, there’s always the next shot and the next hole – you are always moving one shot closer to the 18th green.
Your next shot in life might not land exactly where you planned, but if you don’t take it, you’re stuck exactly where you are. To be a winner in life, you need to keep swinging, expecting your ball to land where you planned but accepting that there is the potential for it to take you into the rough. No matter what, you just keep taking the next shot from wherever you are, making the changes needed to get you back on the fairway.
Don MacNaughton is a High-Performance Coach and has worked tirelessly to help clients achieve success in the world of sport and business over the past 15 years. The next, highly popular, NLP Diploma and Life Coaching Certificate course starts in April 2019. Click here for more information or to sign up.