Feeling like a failure has little correlation with actually failing.
- There are some people who have failed more times than we can possibly count…yet they are happily continuing in their work every day.
- There are other people who have achieved far more than most of us can imagine…yet they go to work each day feeling inadequate, behind, and yes, like failures and frauds.
These are not cases of extraordinary outliers. It is more common that you might imagine.
Failure is an event. It’s a moment when the spec isn’t met, when a project isn’t completed as planned.
Feelings are a result of self-narratives based on stories that the world tells us.
Therefore, if you allow yourself to have a feeling of failure, it is a simple process. You find a thread to unravel…you pull at it and focus on it until, in fact, you’re proven right. You are a failure.
Here’s the essential first step to stop that process: Stop embracing the false theory that the best way to stop feeling like a failure is to succeed.
Thinking of one’s self as a failure is not the same as failing. Therefore, succeeding on any particular task is not the antidote. In fact, if you act on this misconception, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of new evidence…you can discover (if you want) that you are correct in your feelings, because you will ignore the wins and remind yourself daily of the losses.
Instead, begin with the idea that the best way to deal with a feeling is to realize exactly what it is – a feeling.
Thanks for listening.
PS: Adapted from this post by Seth Godin