Sunday, 20 February 2011

Total Failure Can Breed Perfect Success

I have failed spectacularly on numerous occasions in my life, work and especially in my search for love.

While others may have found it hard to bounce back, I always have due to a survival instinct, heightened by the reality that I am ultimately the only one who can pick myself up and learn from the situation I find myself in.

A couple of weeks ago I brought Adele's album 21 and was instantly captivated by 'Someone Like You', which she sang last week at the Brits and moved the audience to tears (theirs', hers' and mine) and a standing ovation.

I didn't think one song could so perfectly encompass all the emotions I felt about a certain someone.

Excitement, lust, longing, love and ultimately disappointment when I realised he wasn't who I thought he was and that I put him on a pedestal so high, that he was always going to fall from it.

But I learned from it and that lesson has been one of my biggest life lessons so far, despite the situation being for me, one of my worst failures in my actions and exposing the frailties of my character.

Owning that sometimes you will have to overcome failure, to succeed is equally scary when its in connection with your work.

My dealings with HWMBO were ultimately disastrous, but in the long run, I won and I learnt that no job is big enough for you to lose your soul too. Which brings me to two friends I talked with this weekend.

Friend 1 hates her job with a passion, and is being from the sound of things, relentlessly bullied by her boss.

"Just leave!" was my advice.

"Plan it of course, but instead of killing yourself for an an unappreciative harpy, who won't allow you to succeed, can her, before she cans you. Remember what happened with her in your next job and I promise you, you won't have to deal with that crap again, because you'll recognise the signs and be more able to set your work boundaries"

Friend 2 is without doubt one of the smartest people I know. She is funny, attractive, feisty and outwardedly very confident. But,she suffers from self doubt, or as I like to call it 'work stage fright'.

Having landed her dream job, she has worked herself in a perfect storm, finding mountains, where molehills lie and trusting no one including herself.

She isn't a weak willed Wilma, but she is someone who craves high standards for herself at work and who when things go wrong is her own harshest critic.

"Get a grip" I said adopting the old 'it is what it is' road I take when trying to shake myself and my friends from a pity party.

"You need to pull your shit together, because the only person being sabotaged here is you. You need to trust yourself. You are brilliant at what you do and the only person who doesn't seem to have realised it is you. Even if you end up in the worst case scenario, you'll deal with it, because you always do".

Fear of failure maybe overwhelming. We may not always want to recognise it or admit it to ourselves. It hits us all in different ways at different times in our lives. We can deal with it like Adele by singing sad songs or burying ourselves in our work like I do.

However, when you experience fear of success, you have no alternative but to front it and not allow it to be an excuse to punish ourselves with, as we try to attain impossible perfection where it really isn't needed.

Success or failure in life is determined by our own willpower and blind courage - willpower to continue doing those rituals (like hard work and commitment) and blind courage (being persistent when anyone else would have stopped trying).

Stir in a heavy dose of luck and then its up to you to decide whether you want to succeed or fail.

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