Success is not final,
Failure is not fatal:
It is the courage to continue that counts”
I added this quote to the Write Change Grow Facebook page over the weekend. Since then I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what this quote means.
Success and failure have such a diverse range of meaning for us all. One person’s success could be seen as another person’s failure.
I think it’s safe to say that we generally want more success and dread failure regardless of how we personally define each one.
People often talk about having a fear of success or fear of failure but maybe it is the third part of this quote that really scares us.
It’s about what comes next.
After success you are meant to continue succeeding.
After failure you are supposed to keep going (until you succeed).
What if you are feeling so much pressure and overwhelm, you feel like doing neither?
This is where courage comes in. This is where persistence, perseverance and tenacity come into play.
It is important to note that courage to continue may not mean continuing to do things the same way we have always done them.
Sometimes it takes more courage to STOP what we are doing.
It takes strength to acknowledge a mistake or accept that our current situation is not working. As an example, sometimes it takes a lot more courage to leave a professional or personal relationship than it does to simply continue on as before.
Courage can mean our ability to step back and look at a situation logically and realistically. It can involve good decision-making or choosing an effective strategy or plan and yes it can also mean taking a huge leap of faith.
Whether it’s a case of reinvention, reassessment, staying on the same path, trying something completely new or giving up something that isn’t working, it all takes courage.
Yet how do we handle those times when our courage feels like it has deserted us?
When we are staring down failure it can be particularly hard. These are often the moments we feel tired, exhausted, stressed, fed up and disillusioned. These are the times we feel more like climbing into bed for a week than going out and facing the world.
Do you think the above list applies only to failure? Think again. Reaching a certain level of success often involves huge amounts of energy, time, sacrifice and hard work. Though we may be reveling in our success, we may also be downright exhausted.
Most of us are not courageous all of the time.
Sometimes we have to ride out the tough times. Sometimes we need to take time out. We need to work through the moments of doubt, fear and anxiety. We have to experience them – move through them – to come out the other side.
No matter how you look at it, no matter how you define success or failure – the courage to continue with whatever course of action is right for you is the key.
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Great message and great quote. I’ll definitely be using that one myself.
I never looked at myself as courageous Thea but I guess if I’ve taken on creating a business for myself online without any knowledge at all coming into this then that definitely takes come courage.
I have fallen on my face more times then I care to admit but I think that just knowing that this is where I’m suppose to be and that it’s only a matter of time before everything falls into place, that’s kept me going. I really don’t think I’ve had a day in the last five years where I’m just thrown my hands up and wanted to stay in bed.
There are times I’ve beaten myself up because I’m not where I wanted to be but knowing I should have been further along. I think it’s just knowing that failure is not an option is what has kept me moving forward. I sure am glad I did too.
Love this message, thank you so much for sharing this one today.
> choosing an effective strategy
I’m a fan of that.
Strategy + execution is a powerful combo that works in business and in life. And the big thing I learned is that the best business skills, are also many of the best life skills.
Businesses learned long ago how to be sustainable and expand … we can borrow from that.
My first time here.
You have some good points in your post.
I have come to the conclusion that waiting for someone else to fulfill my dreams is a big waste of valuable time. Being courageous can be real scary. Thinking about what you said, I think maybe we have never really failed until we absolutely give up. We may have had setbacks that never worked, but until we actually “throw in the towel” and say we are done, we have not failed. Maybe I should make that my new motto!
Have a great day.
I posted a couple of months ago about the humiliation I felt at failing an essay for the first year of my degree course. My immediate reaction was “That’s it, I can’t continue my degree, doom, disaster, failure, guilt (etc!)” After a phone call from an adviser at the University I realised that I could in fact comfortably continue my degree. While starting my 2nd year, I spent 3 weeks patiently rewriting the essay, to then be told that I had to do a brand new essay question and an online quiz. Initial reaction? You can probably guess, but I then realised that the new question covered mostly the same areas of the text book that I’d just read, so it didn’t take long to complete a 2nd essay after all and I easily submitted it on time and kept up with the work on my new course.
Over the last few weeks I’ve had a myriad of other disasters to deal with: my new laptop not working properly, problems with my flat etc etc etc. I also had an email from someone who had read my free ebook ‘Some Ideas on Positive Living Part 1’ wanting to know when part 2 would be available. I realised that I had not been practicing my own theories, based on 20 years of studying psychology and philosophy. I was giving in to the initial physiological stress reactions, not engaging my higher brain and ‘flying off the handle’. What I thought were life-ruining, insurmountable disasters turned out to be nothing more than minor irritations which could be solved by a few minutes of calm thinking and organisation. I now have a sub-title for part 2 of my series: PATIENCE, PERSPECTIVE AND PERSEVERENCE. Perhaps the downside of having a writer’s imagination is a lack of perspective on ourselves?