In high school I had a PE teacher who always said, “THERE’S TWO REASONS WHY PEOPLE FAIL! THEY’RE LAZY AND THEY DON’T LISTEN!” He was extremely adamant about these two contributors to failure and he would bellow that same coach-ism at us almost every day.
While I do agree that being lazy and not listening can be problematic in pursuit of success, I don’t think Coach had it quite right. So here is a revision that I think is a lot more accurate:
There are three primary reasons why people fail:
- They forget to have faith in themselves and their capabilities.
This is hard. We are our harshest critics and it is really challenging to see ourselves as what we actually are. We are unkind and hurtful to ourselves. We second guess and doubt what people think of us or what we know or what we can do. This has to stop. If we want to succeed in anything there comes a point we have to stop and say “Hey! I CAN do this! I CAN do this and I WILL do this! I am CAPABLE.” Quite frankly, there are plenty of situations where you are probably completely able to handle everything that is happening and the only reason you can’t or don’t is because you didn’t give yourself the credit and faith you deserved. Don’t discount or forget about what you can do, and don’t be afraid to try even if you are unsure.
- They lose sight of what they’re working towards.
Life is not a smooth, linear process. We don’t go from start to finish in a straight line. Instead, there are a lot of bumps, roadblocks, and twists. This makes making goals and following through with goals tough. You can start in on a goal, get blown totally off course, forget the direction you were trying to go, and end up somewhere you didn’t want to get. This is why moments of silence and quiet are so important–private moments where we can step outside, breathe some fresh air, and regroup. It’s crucial to keeping an eye on the prize. If the goal changes or something you want more comes along, that is completely fine, but remember that when you want something, whatever it is, you have to keep sight of it.
- They let fear have too much air time.
That quote about “If your dreams don’t scare you they aren’t big enough” makes a pretty good point. Plenty of things in this world come easily with no stress or worry, but the really good things–the best education, dream job, dream people, the best and happiest life you can have–they’re hard to get. They take a lot of work and it can be terrifying trying to reach those goals. Getting to the really good stuff is scary! The things you do that mean the most are the ones that are the scariest and hardest to start and stick to. It is OK to be scared or nervous about working towards something or doing something you want to do but it is NOT OK to let that fear stop you from doing something you really want to do and really want to accomplish.
Remember Point # 1–you can do this, and usually once you do something it won’t be scary anymore.
Do not let fear paralyze you, do not let fear drive you, do not let fear define your life for you. You are behind that wheel.
What points would you add to this list?