We will never succeed more than we fail
How do you define success? Think about your answer on the paragraphs below, as our thoughts on success may not be entirely accurate. For example, most people believe that success is about winning and fewer failures, when in fact the opposite is true.
I was watching American television host Steve Harvey, who recently said, “I have failed many more times than I have succeeded. You will never be more successful than you fail … That is not how it works. I have released over 200 shows. ideas in Hollywood, of those 200, have chosen 5 in 33 years of launches “.
So what Harvey is telling us is that his success rate in the last 33 years of pitching ideas to Hollywood is 2.5%. However, he is one of the most successful television presenters and comedians, with a net worth of $ 200 million.
To present a similar example, consider the following quote from basketball legend Michael Jordan: “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost nearly 300 games. Twenty-six times I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot and I missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s why I did it. “
Do you have the feeling that success is not about repeated victories, but about not giving up until we achieve our goals or dreams? And you? Have you experienced a success that changed your life?
I’m not talking about fame or windfall, but about the success we experience with our health, relationships, career, or finances. The only common denominator, as Steve Harvey points out, is that we will never succeed more than we fail; and this is good. We have to strive to reach our goal, to have any chance of success.
Failure sharpens the saw of our character
In a recent documentary presented by David Attenborough, a team of cameras followed a pride of lions that lived in Africa for twelve months. In it, he mentions that a lion will fail 9 times out of 10 when hunting prey. Many things can go wrong during a kill, forcing the lion to abandon the hunt.
Therefore, you need to try more often to feed yourself and pride. Success is the same where commitment and perseverance are required to achieve our goals. Even then, there are no guarantees that we will prevail. It takes a strong mindset to be successful. If we experience repeated failures and setbacks, it can affect our self-esteem.
Have you experienced this with a goal, be it personal or professional? It is my experience training people over the years; it is rare to find someone who has the ability to endure in the face of defeat. We need to have a powerful vision of our life, if we want to achieve success. Failures and setbacks will most likely stop us in our tracks if we are not committed enough.
To take another example, the Navy Seal BUD / S program is designed to eliminate those who are unfit to serve on the front line. The dropout rate is 80% or more, and that’s just the selection process to get into the program.
The attrition rate is high because the program aims to select those who are mentally, emotionally, and physically capable in frontline warfare. I appreciate that our lives are not as demanding as the Navy Seals program, but success also has a high attrition rate due to the stamina required to be successful.
According to American author Stephen Covey, failure sharpens the saw of our character by fueling our personal growth and resilience. Covey spoke of the need to establish strong habits, which is why he called it sharpening the saw.
Success leaves clues
Do you have the feeling that success is about who we become, which determines whether or not we succeed? Zig Ziglar said: “It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.” Those we consider successful have built up a lifetime of personal growth to get where they are.
When I read their biographies, the common denominator is the setbacks they experienced, such as repeated failures, setbacks, and insurmountable odds of reaching the top of their field.
What stands out the most is their strength of character and the resilience on which they build their life. We must fail and fail often, if we are to achieve any form of success. Furthermore, we must examine our failures to see if we are growing in proportion to them.
However, we should not consider ourselves a failure because failure is not indicative of our self-esteem.. Failure is an indicator of what we are trying and the more we try, the greater our chances of success. It bears repeating: we have to be doing the work to have any chance of success. We have to be in the arena doing the brave work that no one sees or that no one will praise us for.
Knowing this, I invite you to consider an area of your life in which you hope to be successful. What do you think is holding you back? You could say economic conditions, the coronavirus pandemic or something else. Let me remind you that Jeff Bezos’ wealth grew by $ 90.1 billion during the pandemic. The personal fortunes of Bill Gates and other notable billionaires also grew during the pandemic.
The point I want to make is that even during a global crisis, successful people thrive and we can use that to propel ourselves forward. So, take out your journal and write down 3-5 recent failures you have experienced, whether personal or professional. What have you learned from them? Write how you can use growth to be successful in the future.
There is a well-known quote attributed to Tony Robbins who said, “Success leaves clues.” So what clues is success leaving you? Could it be that your failures are sharpening the saw of your character? Write your responses in a journal and take an introspective look within yourself to see where the opportunities exist. After all, you will never be more successful than you fail because life transforms us into the person we want to become, when success finally comes to our doorstep.