Seth Godin offers an interesting perspective on failure – It’s all about your attitude. Some successful people feel that they are failures. They are never happy with their work even when it is good. Such thinking is a trap. People lost in feelings of failure keep looking for an ever elusive success.
Godin is not saying we should be happy with failure, but that we should know how to work through failures and deliver. His books The Dip and Poke the Box are necessary reads for anyone who’s caught up in the failure trap. Successful people fail before they find a way to succeed. Or, as Godin puts in The Dip, they know how to quit the right things. If you’re doing the right kind of work for the right reason, the feelings of failure will still come now and then. But they won’t be how you define yourself. Take joy in your work and your life.
In our careers and personal lives, we all face challenges. The great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden captured this problem and how to face it: "Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be."
A few of my clients cannot move on on their career because they spend too much time and energy looking back on lost opportunities or mistakes. I try to motivate them to look forward rather than backward. Living in the past is never a good solution. As Coach Wooden said, we are all capable of change.
Most of us have had ups and downs in our career, which Winston Churchill summed up in these great words: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is courage to continue that counts."
Persistence might be the greatest strength, and -- as Churchill says -- it takes courage to move forward when we doubt ourselves. However, every success we have had was a time we could have failed. The only way to change is to take a change and move forward with courage. I'm not the biggest fan of Churchill. But, in this case, his words are great advice for anyone who is frustrated with their career or unhappy in their job. Find your "courage to continue."