By Ora Cook
“I never feel like a failure just because something I tried has failed.” Dolly Parton
Have you ever held yourself back from chasing your dreams because you didn’t want to be
considered a failure? I have.
I’ve accomplished a lot, yet the fear of being perceived as a failure has kept me living small, you know, beneath my potential.
The message people gave me is that when I failed, it meant I was a failure. And, frankly, that’s not a status anyone wants. So, I avoided pursuing anything which did not guarantee success.
What I didn’t realize is that by avoiding failure, I was also avoiding success. Ouch, that hurts.
Failure is inevitable, and the only way to avoid it is to never aim for success. Because I didn’t
want to continue passing on my dreams, I had to learn that failing does not mean I am a failure. So, how can you break free from the misleading messages of failure? It’s a process, but applying these three tips will get you started.
Three ways to change your beliefs about failure
1. Separate your who from your do Who you are and what you do are two different things. Who you are is determined by your personality, character traits, gifts, talents and skills. What you do is an action. If you fail at a task, it does not change your persona, unless you allow it. Even if you allow it, it was you who made the change, not the failed effort.
Yes, people will try to convince you that when you fail at an endeavor, it reflects who you are as a person. This information is so misleading. Don’t believe it.
I have never seen a personality assessment which has failure as a determination and hopefully I never will.
Because most people tie their self-esteem, self- worth, and self-acceptance to what they do, they easily fall into the trap of believing they are a failure when things do not work out. This concept is so misleading. Personality and character traits determine your self-worth. Not an outcome.