If you think “success” means never failing, think again: success includes serial “failures”

If you think “success” means never failing, think again.  Learn from your so-called “failures,” and far from failing, you actually give yourself the power to transform the past into steps on the path to future successes.

What are you battling?  Where are your struggles?  Do you have defined goals?  Are you getting the help you need?  Is the day sometimes just too much to handle?  You might think these are questions to ask someone who is falling apart.  No.  All of these are questions we might ask successful people.

In other words, successful people still struggle, stress, and fail.  Often, they fail repeatedly.  But what makes someone successful is that he or she gets back up after falling down, problem solves and tries again; no falling into the traps of self-doubt.

Why is it so hard?   It may look like other people have it so much easier than you do, like they never fail or stress.  If that’s what it looks like, you may not know the person that well.  You may just be looking at their social media and inferring from the stories they are sharing that all is perfect.  Dig a little deeper.  Everyone who has ventured to achieve falls down from time to time.  Usually, people who think a lot, people who are movers and shakers, have deep concerns.  Some worry about family.  Others about money.  Some stew about co-workers and work politics. Some have health problems.  Others obsess about fitness.

Some measure of worry can be empowering: plan for the worst and hope for the best. Knowing what you will do in worst case scenarios, and knowing you will be OK, can be tremendously empowering.  The key is to use failures and stressing about failures as tools to empower rather than obstacles that weigh you down.  An excellent book that stands the test of time and helps readers control what the author called “worry” and what we might today call “stress,” is How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

If you are dealing with school stress, professional stress, exam stress, parenting stress, or just battling generally to succeed while achieving peace of mind, give it a read or re-read.

Author: Sara J. Berman

Sara J. Berman, a graduate of the UCLA School of Law, is a Professor of Law and Assistant Dean at the Touro Law Center. She formerly served as a Director at the Washington DC-based Center for Legal Education Excellence.

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