By Angel Santiago
We want to grow, succeed, and be happy, but we’re constantly pushing away and trying to control the situations that will provide us with just that. We go through life doing whatever we can to avoid struggle, failure, and pain. We’re so focused on trying to get it right that we’re constantly interfering in our own lives, keeping situations from playing out as intended, and thus, delaying our growth.
Failure isn’t the opposite of success, it’s an integral step towards it.
We’re so busy fighting off failure that it inhibits us from welcoming success. But if failure isn’t an option, then success isn’t either. How do you feel about failure? How do you define it? Take a moment to think about this.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”
― J.K. Rowling
Do you see how she perceives failure? Now, reflect upon your definition again. Is that how you want your relationship with failure to be? If not, take a moment to redefine it.
We all have a desire to succeed but being in a constant battle with failure is counterproductive. When we start something new, there’s always a learning process. We’re going to go through a period of making mistakes and not getting it right. In other words, we’re probably going to fail.
Before I became a coach, I was a salsa dance instructor. Oftentimes, I would get students who, in their very first class, would struggle, become frustrated, and feel disappointed. When I’d ask them about it, they’d say it was because they just weren’t getting it. “Were you expecting to get it on your first day?” I would always ask. “Yes, I’m an adult; I should know better,” they’d say. I have no idea where adults got the impression that somehow the learning process skips them and that failing only applies to youth.
People expect the path of least resistance and the least amount of effort. They want to snap their fingers and immediately become a success story without putting in the work. Success doesn’t work that way. Your desire to succeed means nothing without the effort. Effort is what produces results.
So, what does that effort look like? Here is the formula:
- Have a burning desire
- Be clear on your purpose
- Show up
- Put in that extraordinary effort
- Have unwavering faith
Are you going to struggle? Are you going to experience failure? Are you going to feel pain? YES. But these are the very things that will cause you to improve. If you never experience failure, you’ll never see the need to improve. It’s a process that requires patience to see it through. If you want it to happen fast, if you wanted it to happen yesterday, it’s probably not worth your time. Besides, “fast” puts the reward at risk.
You must honor and respect your timeline, for it’s precisely what will prepare you for success. Remember, your challenges and failures are there to support and aid your growth. You just have to believe it and invest in yourself.
My name is Angel Santiago, and I’m a Transformational Coach. Feel free to connect with me via social media under the hashtag #LifeCoachAngel and online HERE.