Many of us fear failure. But what about fear of success? That seems to be a greater obstacle in many people´s lives.
Success can be defined in a variety of ways. The immediate response to the word is usually financially related.
However, there are a great deal of other ways to define the term: socially, physically, mentally, emotionally etc. This is easily accepted by most, as financial achievements only are very limited and limiting. But what about the opposite? Is "failure" really the opposite of success?
Whenever you are tempted to blame yourself for yet another set back, try to remember that "failure is an event, not a person"(Zig Ziglar).
And how can we ever reach any level of success without any setbacks?
Anyone who have experienced the trial and errors of their own children as they learned to sit, to crawl, to walk, to talk, to eat properly...to do all the thousands of things that constitute human behavior, will agree that failure is an event, not a person! And usually it is a very short event indeed: "Oops, I fell, I will get up again!" Nobody in their right mind would argue with a one-year old that his or her efforts were futile.
In other words, who would tell a cheerful 12-months old to quit trying walking because they fall over and over again? The thought is ridiculous. Therefore I would say that repeated "setbacks" are essential for human growth! Somewhere along the way (perhaps when we have mastered the "basics", enough to cope with a little bit of everything in life), it is no longer socially accepted to fail repeatedly. Why?
Our time obsessed society is one reason, I believe. Too many people think it is a waste of valuable time to keep trying if you do not get the desired results quickly. They think it would be wiser to spend that time and effort on something that paid off immediately.
We have been conditioned to immediate rewards. That is why we hope for the next diet to work in a week, or the next get-rich-quick-scheme will let us retire after a month, or that it is too late in life to commit to something new and so on and so forth. We are usually not accustomed to the idea of delayed gratification.
One exception is in sports where it is acceptable to "fail" in order to improve your results. In fact, most sportsmen/sportswomen spend most of their time not reaching their full potential all of the time. But that is the nature of sports, and ultimately, the nature of life itself. Consequently there is no success without failure.
In the movie "Finding Nemo", there is a scene where Nemo´s father explains to his fellow fish Dory that he is so terrified that something should happen to his son. "I promised him that nothing would happen to him!", he says. Dory replies: "That is strange. How could anything ever happen to him if nothing happens to him?" That idea is applicable to all our efforts to improve our lives, whether it is our business, family or any other area in life. If we let things happen and sometimes go wrong, meaning not the way we planned or hoped, we can reflect, learn and grow from it. And that is how we expand as humans.
In conclusion, failure is definitely not the opposite of success. It is a prerequisite of true success!
"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
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