Friday, January 10, 2014

Failure, Success and being a Warrior

Do you find failure to be a scary word? A lot of people are terrified of failure, and I think this fear is unrational and prevents a lot of people from reaching the levels of success that they are capable of. In this quick post I hope to explain why the fear of failure is holding our society back, talk about some techniques to overcome this fear and talk about why in my experiences being a Martial Arts Black Belt I have found that learning the warrior mind set has helped me achieve my goals.
A quick Google search of failure will give us this definition: Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. Why is that so scary to most people; we are scared of a "state or condition." Nowhere in that definition is there anything about this state being permanent, and as we know from our everyday life states and conditions are temporary. The only way failure becomes permanent is if we give up, so I think giving up is what we should be afraid of, not failure!
The next part I liked about the Google definition of failure is the fact that failure may be viewed as the opposite of success. Failure is the opposite of success,  just like hot is the opposite of cold, or night is the opposite of day. This is the Yin and Yang of life,  failure and success are counterparts, and one could not exist without the other. I like this so much because that means that within success there is failure, and within failure there is everything you need for success. Ask any successful person what they think about failure and I am willing to bet they will tell you that they are successful because of what they learned from failing. Successful people have a different perception of failure, and it is this difference that separates successful people from others. The greatest thing about this is that YOU are in charge of your own perceptions; you can control them!  There is nothing inherently bad about failure, it is only bad if you make it that way by giving up or letting the fear of it control your life.

This brings me to how you can overcome your fear of failure. You need to make a shift in how you think about failure, and life as a whole. There is a massive change that needs to take place in the way to think and how you react to the things that happen to you on a day to day basis. The change in the way we think needs to be from that of an unsuccessful person to that of the successful person. The biggest shift that needs to happen is in our perception of the things that go on around us. Of course our perceptions having to do with success and failure, but also with smaller things as well. An example of this is how you react to the small negative things that happen in your life. If it is raining and dreary outside are you sad, or do you think about the positive things that rain can bring like growth and health in nature. A few ways to change your perception and attitude towards things is to be more grateful, loving, respectful and helpful. If you cultivate these attitudes on a daily basis you'll be able to change your mind to that of a successful person. When this change occurs, you no longer fear failure because your perception of it will be different. You will realize that failure is an opportunity to learn and you become better from it and this will help you reach success.
This brings me to the warrior mindset. In the days of old, warriors lived and died by the state of their mind. If they went into battle assuming they're already lost, of course their thought would become a reality. It is because of this that they developed a spirit that was indomitable.  Nothing could defeat them, and it is this mindset that strengthened their spirit and will to always move forward in the direction of success. I understand that the majority of you reading this are probably not going to be heading into battle. But this does not mean that you cannot develop the warrior mindset. Me being a martial artist, the warrior mindset is something that we cultivate and develop on a daily basis, it is this mindset that will not allow a failure to prevent me from becoming successful in whatever I wish to do. It is all the failures that have made me who I am.  Sure they suck at the time but using the warrior mindset I move forward past any failure and I'm better off for it.

If you set the bar low because you are afraid to fail, you may be able to prevent yourself from failing but you will never reach a success that you are truly capable of.  If you want to reach your greatest potential you must continue to raise the bar until you fail.  Then try again, and again until you make it.  See, the biggest thing that you as a warrior understands is that the difference in success and failure is you.  Failure (and success) is just a state or condition that you are experiencing, so if you can control your perception (meaning if you can control your mind and emotions) then you determine if you will have failure or success.

failure and success


RJ LoPresti