“There is no elevator to success, we must take the stairs,” is one of my favorite quotes describing the process one must endure in order to achieve success. When we climb the stairs, we will be met with adversity, obstacles, challenges, hardships, progress, setbacks………and that word that most of us fear…..failure! Most of us were taught that failure was the “end all be all.” In school, a “big red F on a test” was a reminder that you failed. If you fail enough times, you are required to repeat the course. Failing a course and repeating the same course that most of your peers have passed can leave one feeling embarrassed, ashamed, inadequate, incompetent and angry. In the workforce, most people experience similar pressure. The pressure may come from an employer requiring employees to pass a licensure exam to secure employment and failure can result in termination. The outcome in both examples can leave one feeling like a failure. In my experiences the initial feeling following a failure can feel like the end of the world. Allow yourself that moment to taste, chew, swallow and digest that initial feeling. After that initial feeling passes, it’s decision time. Are you going to be a victim of failure or a victor of failure? You may fail in school, work and/or relationships; but you are not a failure. Failure is success turned inside out. It is an event, an opportunity to regroup and learn from our mistakes. I have failed at many things, many times and have learned to accept failure as part of the process on my journey to success.
Through reading, interviewing, observing and spending time with successful people, I learned they have one thing in common; they don’t quit! I have also learned that the most successful people govern their lives by what I call the “4 P’s for Failing Forward to Success”
The 4 P’s for Success:
Purpose: What is the reason for your journey? Have you found your “why?” How big is your “why?” Your why should be so big it will make you cry! On the surface, most people pursue success for status, profit or honors. What happens when these things fade? What will sustain your drive when life beats you down while on your journey? I challenge you to get to the core of you want to be successful. A strong why is bigger than you and will sustain you when adversity strikes. As Mark Twain quoted, “The 2 most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
Patience: Your journey to success involves planting lots of seeds. What you plant now will harvest later. Stay true to your vision, trust the process and keep your end in mind.
Persistence: As a wise woman once told me, “Be a verb!” You must take action, keep pushing through, don’t accept no for an answer, leave no stone unturned and most importantly, “Don’t Quit!”
Passion: Your passion is the fire that lights the way. It moves you beyond yourself, beyond the limits of your potential and beyond your failures. If you are unsure about your question; reflect on these questions/statements: What makes your heart smile? When you are working and it does not feel like “work,” you have found your passion.
Success comes in many forms. We seek success in our personal, professional and social lives. In each facet of our lives success does not come without hard work, determination and failure. The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure. If we do not fail, we do not learn. If we do not learn, we do not grow.
~Success is to begin, embrace the process, to finish.
Please share your definition of success. What barriers have you had to overcome on your journey to success?