After a divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure and a deep state of depression I was feeling like a complete failure. I couldn’t figure out how my American Dream had turned into the American Nightmare in the span of only six years. For several months I isolated myself from the world and held a pity party with myself for being worthless and unworthy.
During that darkest period of my life I ran across a quote from the late Wayne Dyer that would not only shift my spirit and help me get my life back on track, it would also become my go to quote anytime I felt like a failure.
He said: “There is no such thing as failure. There is only the non-attainment of a desired result.” I’m not sure exactly how this quote changed my life in an instant but it did. After reading it I came to the realization that I had internalized myself as a failure. I had concluded it was something that I was inherently versus something I had done externally.
Upon further investigation I learned that my feelings of being a failure were being driven by a deep sense of shame as a result of my divorce, the sadness I experienced from being separated from my kids and the embarrassment I felt from having lost all of my material possessions.
Once I embraced the quote that there was no such thing as failure it gave me the awareness that I could actually change my circumstances and ultimately change my life. This awareness led me on a 25-year journey of growth and transformation which ultimately led me to waking up to who I truly am and to arriving in this very moment in which I can honestly say without reservation that I am happier now than I’ve ever been in my life. Because of the inner journey that I went on I was able to create a wonderful marriage (14 years) with a woman who is absolutely perfect for me. I was also able to discover my gifts of writing and speaking which led me to become an entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. But most importantly my journey helped me awaken to my true life’s purpose, which is to support other people in learning how to live extraordinary lives through my books, seminars and lectures.
I’d like to share the five most important lessons I’ve learned on my journey of self-discovery. My hope is that these lessons inspire and motivate you to overcome any adversity you may be experiencing in your life right now and to help you recognize that there really is no such thing as failure.
1. Remember that failure is not something that you are, it’s something that you’ve done.
Don’t do what I did. I beat myself up for all of the mistakes I made in life and believed that those mistakes made me a failure. The truth is there will always be times that you will not attain your desired result but that doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
2. Be willing to examine your religious beliefs that may have convinced you that you’re a sinner.
This is a tough one. There are some religions that teach you that you are a born sinner in a sinful world. If you accept this belief, at your core you will believe that something is wrong with you. Do not believe this. Challenge your beliefs about your religion and be willing to change them if needed.
3. Accept the truth that you are a wonderful human being with unlimited potential.
I believe this is true. Although you may make mistakes, you are not “a” mistake. Be willing to forgive yourself for the mistakes you may have made and learn to love and accept yourself for the amazing person that you are.
4. Take some time each day to express gratitude.
Take a moment everyday to simply write 5 things that you are grateful for. If you will do this for 21 days straight, I can promise you that your life will change for the better.
5. Take life sincerely but not seriously.
Take some time each day to laugh and appreciate the little things in life. Do not buy in to our negative media. There are lots of reasons to be optimistic about your life and about the world around you but it’s up to you to find those reasons. Find the reasons that bring you joy!
My hope is that you will take these five lessons and apply them to your life. If you will commit to following their guidance rest assured that you can overcome any adversity in your life.
So remember, “There is no such thing as failure, there is only the non-attainment of a desired result.” Though you may not attain your desired result you are not a failure and you can always recommit to attaining a different result.
Coach Michael Taylor is an entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker and radio show host who has dedicated his life to empowering men and women to reach their full potential. He knows firsthand how to overcome adversity and build a rewarding and fulfilling life and he is sharing his knowledge and wisdom with others to support them in creating the life of their dreams. He is the author of Adversity Is Your Greatest Ally, Black Men Rock, A New Conversation with Men, and Brothers, Are You Listening?. For more information please visit: http://bmracademy.com/.