Failure and success. Two things that must co-exist, yet we often try to forgo failure to achieve success. Unfortunately this is impossible, and because of tons of the articles that come out on the web nowadays, most of us realize this!

What is the difference between just failure and success, and why is it so easy to ignore the failures that people go through? Or overlook the excitement of other people`s success? Isn’t it great when other people succeed? “For them maybe”, is something that people may say and more often think; especially if they are your peers, because it’s hard to see and read about someone your age achieving or being recognized for success in their field. This feeling makes even less sense when they aren’t even doing something that we want to do. Success is such a skewed concept nowadays; Facebook highlights are the best example of this. We see the good moments, the gold medals, but not all the steps it takes to get there. It’s easy to be envious of what we perceive someone else’s life to be. That’s the fear of failure mulling around the conscience, and it’s just a mindset.

On the other side, what is the mindset behind those who have achieved the “unachievable“? People who regardless of the odds or percentage of success, find a way to win.  It’s pretty simple really – they always give 100% effort, and they fail a lot. They aren’t focused on what the chances are, they are focused on what they can do; then they do it. On top of that, doing 100% of what you can, through the falls and bruises, no matter the circumstance, then other people’s successes can drive you onwards. If they did it that’s great, it also means that I can too.

“People who regardless of the odds or percentage of success, find a way to win.  It’s pretty simple really – they always give 100% effort, and they fail a lot.”

Giving into a failure mindset often has to do with fear. Fear pops up in many ways: jealousy, anger, frustration, even sadness and self-pity. These are inner problems that can be fixed through growing your belief of your own self-worth, and pursuing what will give your life purpose. That’s no easy task, but very possible. Isn’t the reason for feeling negatively towards the success of others that we aren’t succeeding in our own regard? Or maybe they did what we wanted to do before us. Something that people say is, “it’s never too late.” And if you have an abundance mindset versus a scarcity mindset it isn’t. There is enough success to go around if you earn it. You just have deal with more shit. Ever heard the expression, “you have to go through some number two to be number one?”

There are only two ways you can truly fail. If you give up, or if you do nothing. I do nothing sometimes because actual action is harder than thinking about it. I’ve been jealous of people’s success because I felt inadequate in what was doing at the time. It also feels safer to not act. It’s nicer, because who wants to go through the hardship of failure, and the pain of discipline that it takes to elevate in life? Not many people. The chances of achieving what I want are small, maybe for you too. There is less a 1% chance of becoming a professional athlete, famous, the top surgeon in the world, and many other things I can’t think of. Continue to fight, the odds can be completely against you, but that doesn’t mean you should stop. Success broken down is just small consistent steps. You’ll get closer to your goal if you follow through completely, you might even hit it.

“It’s nicer, because who wants to go through the hardship of failure, and the pain of discipline that it takes to elevate in life?”

I don’t follow NFL football, but the 2015 NFC title game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers is a great example of this. The Seahawks were down 7-19 against the Packers, and with 2:09 left in the game they brought the game to 22-19. They won after the Packers tied the game up. They were not focused on the more than 99% chance they had of losing, they were focused on how they were going to win. After the game the players and coaches were asked, “you must have had huge doubts” and “didn’t you think it was over with so little time left?” They kept answering no, not because they were ignorant of the odds, but because they were focused on winning and concentrating on how they were going to accomplish that; complete follow through.

That’s the success mindset. Imagine if the coach had taken them into a huddle and said, “Well, it’s been a great game, you all played as well as you could. And I’m proud of you, don’t beat yourself up about this one.” Well, they wouldn’t have won, or made history, because no team had yet comeback from that score differential with so little time on the clock.

Yes, it can be easier to give in to defeat, but have you ever worked out? In every workout the last 10-20% of your reps, run, stretch- that is the place where your muscles gain the most, and your brain learns it can do more. Same with your life, the last little bit before you reach whatever your goal is, that’s when it is going to burn the most, your mind and body are ready to lay down and give up. One more day, hour, minute could be all it takes before that challenge can be beat. Life is a marathon, not a sprint – so don’t forget to continually put one foot in front of the other. Keep failing and keep getting up.

  •  Marie Queenan