How not to fail

Red FailYou didn’t wake up this morning and say you were going to fail. You rolled out of bed, yawned, stretched, made some random noises and shuffled off to the bathroom. You probably glanced into the magic mirror on the bathroom wall, noticed your hair was disheveled, spotted the new random zit on your chin but guess what? You didn’t see any fail in this mirror; not yet. Yeah sure there might be a mood to contend with; Fear, contentment, anger, happiness. That’s not the same thing as fail. Fail is a mindset and it’s too gosh darn early for that to kick in. The day has just begun and there’s new promise.

You glance into the rear view mirror on the way to work. See any fail in there yet? It’s hard not to notice the moron riding your bumper or the person who just cut you off. A little fail is creeping in but you shake it off.

Around mid morning after your 3rd cup of coffee, mother nature calls. You pass the mirror on the way in and give yourself a look. Already a sale you wanted fell through, and a client has called upset. There’s fail showing on your face now. Your mouth is slightly downcast and some hairs you spent time this morning lining up are now out of place. Snapping yourself out of this is a little harder now but you splash cold water on your face in hopes it will wash it off.

By later in the day there’s fail everywhere. You wonk out on the lady who meant well at the gas station. Who gives change using nickels? I mean really. There’s a gray cloud over your head. That blog idea you wanted to have didn’t get thought of. Those vital Tweets didn’t get sent. That big idea you have on the shelf will stay there again today, its dust piling up. The fail is here and it’s cost you your day. Looking into any mirror now will cause you to scream so you don’t bother to look.

downward spiralIs this downward spiral familiar to any of you? Is the definition of failing trying your best and not reaching your goal? No. It’s a mentality; it says I’ve let my emotions and stupid brain rule the day. Because you let it win today you’re not going to get anything of any real substance done. It’s true defeatism and YOU are really to blame. “Am I smart enough?” “Am I good enough?” “Why do bad things always happen to me?”

We all have moods. Don’t let those moods morph into the fail. Being angry is fine. We all get mad. Being overjoyed happens to us all and we relish in it when it happens. Failing is allowing your mind to drag you down; telling yourself that you aren’t good enough. All of that trash is in your head. The fail just stops you from realizing your true potential. It’s going to be pretty hard to be the Leader, Husband, Father, Visionary, CEO, Entrepreneur, Linchpin when your body spends its days tearing you down. Don’t let the fail win today. When things get tough think back to the beginning of the day when it contained such promise. We start every day that way and somewhere we let it go off course. Stop. Keep your emotions in check and do what you’re capable of doing. I’m excited to see the result.

Thanks to Chris Griffith from Flickr for the pic.

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  • Filters –

    With information and thus chance for negative stimulus to enter the brain at such rapid pace; it is even more important to put filters in place. Just yesterday, I took the time to peel off some channels that have become otherwise inane and full of vitriol egoism.

    I like what Dave Matthews has to say on the subject in his song – “The Space Between.” – The lyrics tell the real story but the take away for me is this: The Space Between any context and it’s subsequence consequence is – Choice. We have a wonderful gift called choice, as you have brilliantly implied. We become very much like the seven people we Choose to hang around and or the stuff we read. Choose wisely as the fire hose is full blast and is in no way slowing down any time soon. And, it impacts your being.

    Thanks for the great read.


    • Excellent comments Mike.It’s so true.Surround yourself with negative and you will become it. CHOOSE what you listen to and filter out the stuff you don’t need. Appreciate you stopping by this morning. Have a fantastic day.

  • Great read Bill! I don’t want to discount what you’ve said, but my biggest take away was the hilarious link for “mother nature calls.” Thanks for the laugh and the solid post!

    • Thanks Mark. The post was meant to be a serious one but with me that’s almost impossible to pull off. How ridiculous is a Pop Up Bathroom tent..loved the toilet in there too. Ridiculous.

  • In the limited time you have known me, you know I am a big fan of metaphors. We need sustainable energy in order to not defeat ourselves by ourselves. I love the analogy here and completely get the concept on how we can plummet ourselves as a result of daily events. As your post points out, it is up to us individually and as team leaders to get past (not ignore) our own self defeating thoughts and rule the day with valor and chivalry. Great post Bill.

    • As always Jonathan I appreciate you replying and adding to the conversation. Glad you “got it”. People often ignore these self defeating thoughts which actually makes the problem worse. It’s best to understand them, and even embrace them because doing so can help you grow. Glad you had a good vacation and welcome back.

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