Success is Easier When You Don’t Fail

Trying is action with the intent to fail. Success is when your preparation out performs your action to try.

Mitigating the fear of failing is what sells. There is a reason life coaches and consulting firms do well. It is the same reason people and companies that promote diets and exercise plans also do well. The perception of mitigating failure makes you feel good about moving forward, but in reality, failure is the path to success. Failure doesn’t have to have a negative connotation, but we are programmed to respond differently to failure than to success.

There is a theory mostly associated with economics, loss aversion theory. It refers to people's tendency to prefer avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains: it is better to not lose $20 than to find $20.

I have a hard time not equating this theory to performance, whether in life or in business. People do not succeed, because their fear of failing is greater than their motivation to act. When you change the narrative and transform your thinking to include failure, not to avoid it, you then can begin to redefine your reality of success.

Success is not measurable; commonly, it is defined by comparing, not defined by a benchmark. This is an interesting concept for most, as typically success is thought of statically not dynamically...theory of relativity.

If a man or woman had a 6 figure job, a house, family, new SUV, etc. you would say he/she is successful.

If another man or woman had a 9 figure job a pent house suite and a helicopter you would also say he is successful.

If yet another man or woman lived in a tent, had no job, and had no transportation you would say he is unsuccessful.

Yet if the 3rd man or woman was living in America, maybe a person in a third world country would say he/she was successful.

There is this underlying idea that perception outweighs reality when it comes to measuring success. However, just as beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, success is too; sometimes we may just be wearing the wrong lenses.

Today's success is defined by the perception of our position, not the reality of our own value or accomplishments.

I love the Rocky films, I have watched them all several times. There is a sense of realism about failing in the movies as a part of the journey. It’s interesting that recreating failure is easier than recreating success. We have to put emphasis on the process being in a higher position than the result. We also have to focus on individualizing the process and not be so reliant on comparisons.

People keep buying in to the hundreds of dieting and exercising plans or the get rich fast schemes, or better yet, the coaching methods and plans that you pay thousands of dollars for to recreate the success of someone else.

I have watched the Kung Fu Panda movies more times than I can count, they are one of my sons favorite, mine too if I am being honest. There is one particular part in the 3rd movie where Po needs help and his father tells Po to teach him, and the other pandas, Kung Fu. Po replies, “I can’t teach you Kung Fu”. His father replies, “you can teach us Kung Fu, we can be just like you”. Po then says “no you can’t, but you don’t have to be... I don’t have to turn you in to me, I have to turn you into you”.

I love this movie because it sort of reveals every get rich, dieting and exercising scheme there is. The fact is that it is very hard to recreate someone else’s success because you don’t have the main ingredient, them.

At best you can learn from their successes and failures and apply it but you will never be able to recreate their exact success; anyone that tells you otherwise is probably rich, has three houses, and is selling you the idea that you can. But learning is not enough, you have to act. Success is not the opposite of failure. Success is the opposite of no motion.

If success starts when you move, then failure starts when you stop. Dieting and exercise plans don't work because most people want the reward without the work. This is true in business just as much as it is in health. Effort to execution is a long road and execution to success is even longer.

Failure starts when you stop.

Success is not something you do or achieve, it is something you become. Success looks different on everyone and no one is the same. I remember growing up and my mom washing and reusing ziplock bags over and over until they tore. At one time, success for me, was not having to reuse ziplock bags. Thankfully my parents nor I have to reuse ziplock bags now, but you get the picture. Everyone can have an idea or success no matter how big or small.

The biggest misconception someone can have is thinking their success is greater than anyone else’s. You are capable of success, maybe you just have to redefine what it means to you. Albert Einstein said, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is a failure.” Set real expectations, don’t compare your value and uniqueness to anyone else’s, and enjoy the experiences you have and the journey you are on. Success is easier than you think, just start moving.