Have you ever noticed that the people who achieve exceptional success in life almost always have a life story that includes a bumpy road. Often, their path includes making mistakes and overcoming challenges that would cause most people to stop and choose another path. The key difference between those who fail and those who stick it out and succeed is that the successful ones embrace the bumps in the road. In other words, they are not afraid to fail, they are not paralyzed or controlled by fear. They realize that the bumps are necessary failures that allow them to grow. You see, when you experience failure, it is really success letting you know that you have identified a flaw that needs to be corrected or removed.
Before we go on, lets define what I mean by exceptional success in life. I am not just talking about money, though it’s included as most things we need and want to do in life cost money. I am talking about people whose success has allowed them to write their life story on their terms; they have enough wealth to spend time doing the things they are most passionate about, they have amazing relationships and they live a healthy lifestyle. There are plenty more but these are the big three.
Growing up, most people are conditioned not to make mistakes. Failing at something, making mistakes, and falling down are frowned upon. This creates a fear of failure and when you look at failure this way, you avoid taking risks. When you don’t take risks in life, you in turn create a barrier to growth, which is why you see so few people achieve exceptional success in life. I didn’t have much guidance growing up so I made mistakes. I didn’t feel good about them but I also didn’t have anyone telling me it was bad to make mistakes. So, I learned from them and didn’t feel too bad about them.
Over time, I learned on my own that each mistake led to something good and I felt stronger. I learned that making mistakes and falling down took me out of my comfort zone, which, naturally, can be scary but at the same time always led to something good, something better. I was growing but didn’t realize it because I was a kid. That set off a chain of events that helped shape everything in my life and always will. Instead of a fear of failure, I actually began looking at it as a positive experience. As long as I was falling down, I knew I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone which meant I was growing and getting better and stronger.
I took that thought into everything in life and attained a level of unshakable confidence. I also realized that most people around me were all competing with each other for “things”… a bigger house, nicer cars, more toys and so on. Being young, I wanted all that stuff too, or so I thought. Once I realized that most of those items were bought on credit and these people weren’t actually happy I didn’t want that life anymore, so I designed my own. I designed the life I wanted to live. I wanted to write my own amazing life story and really live it.
Once I made that decision, I stopped focusing on others and started competing with myself, challenging myself. If I focused on competing with those around me for money, jobs, homes, relationships and so on, the best I would ever be is a little better than they are, and I would basically be living the same life everyone else lives. By focusing on competing with myself, I will never stop growing and improving. I will always do what it takes to be healthier, have stronger relationships, be a better father, attain the wealth needed to live a life of choices, and a life with no limits. Instead of being afraid to fail, I know that success is IMPOSSIBLE without some failure.
Most people are afraid of failure in any part of life because they grow up reminded over and over that failure and mistakes are bad. You have to understand that failure does not happen TO YOU, it happens FOR YOU. It is an opportunity to grow. When you shift your mind and think this way you will smile with each failure, knowing that you have just identified a flaw that needs to be corrected or removed. Adversity is scary in the moment, but it is always when we grow the most. How wonderful adversity and failure really are. Think of the best new job you ever had, the new relationship that made you feel amazing, etc. Didn’t most of these start with something ending or a scary or painful time in your life? Failure and fear are not so bad after all.
Again, what keeps most people from the process of “growing” and “achieving” is fear. Fear is debilitating; it divides people. Think of the worst decisions you have ever made in your life. It is likely that they were fear based decisions. Fear not only divides people but also divides entire countries, causing leaders to spill the blood of sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. It is fear that most often keeps people from enjoying this great adventure called life.
These days the stock markets are near multi year highs, consumer confidence is trending up and people are shopping like crazy; you would not think that fear is on the loose. However, I travel around the world to deliver the Online Trading Academy message to rooms filled with hundreds of people at a time. During these events people are smiling and happy to get together, but be assured, fear is on the loose. I look out into the audience and see fear around the room. There are wealthy people who can’t sleep at night because they are afraid they are going to lose all their money. There are poor people afraid of bankruptcy. There are older people afraid of dying, younger people who are afraid that they will never meet the right partner, never find a good job, never be able to afford a house, etc.
If you are one of many who are in the middle of the bumpy journey, stay encouraged. You will make it to the peak if you realize that the valley is not a permanent residence. Never forget, to become a butterfly you must want to fly so bad that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar. Growth and change always go hand in hand with failure and fear. It’s your life story and you are the author. The pen is in your hand, no one else’s. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes; embrace failure and fear and start writing your amazing life story. What are you waiting for?
Hope this was helpful. Have a great day.
Sam Seiden – firstname.lastname@example.org