“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” — Elbert Hubbard
I still remember it so clearly to this day. I was in the bathroom, kneeled down on the cold tile floor. My face was cupped in my hands and I was heaved over the toilet. Nausea had overtaken me. And I was shivering. My body shuddered from the cold. Yet it was the dead of summer in 90+ degree heat outside.
I gripped the side of the porcelain and my body shook as I thought about the devastation and destruction that my life had become. Not only could I never finish what I started, but I was a complete wreck. At the end of my proverbial rope. It was a point of sheer overwhelm. I couldn’t think straight. Nor could I see straight.
As I picked myself up from that cold hard floor, my head was spinning. And I heard this torturous little inner voice in my mind that kept telling me I was good for nothing. You’re a failure. Every single thing you try, doesn’t work out. Just give up. Quit while you’re ahead. Because you’ll never amount to anything.
I Could Never Finish What I Started Until I Discovered…
I was on this incessant rollercoaster ride of success and failure. The questions I kept asking myself repeatedly in my mind was this: Could I ever finish what I started? Nope. Apparently not. That what it seemed like, at least. I was really good at working hard and getting things off the ground. But then, as soon as I hit a major roadblock, I threw my hands up in the air in silent resignation and gave up. For some reason, I just couldn’t see the forest through the trees.
You’ve probably been there before. Maybe you’ve felt that pain of starting and stopping and feeling your whole world collide. Divorce. Failed businesses. Bad habits that suck you right into a black hole of nothingness. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach never feels good. It’s as if everything you’ve ever wanted or hoped for is disappearing into a plume of smoke. And you’re left powerless to do anything about it.
Failure doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel good to give up. It never has. And it never will. I still remember walking away from that bathroom, gripping the whitewashed walls for support. After heaving my entire innards, I was in a fog. I couldn’t think straight. The emotions were just too much to handle for me. And I felt like my life was over as I knew it.
1. Failure Is A Stepping Stone, Not The End Of The Road
The first thing that I discovered in this journey to find myself was that failure is a stepping stone. It’s part of the process. It’s so embarrassing to fail. It completely destroys who you are as a person. And it wrecks your innards, sending you on this emotional rollercoaster ride. But failure is part of the process.
No one ever told me that. I didn’t know that the most famous and successful people had failed the most times. People who I idolized and respected a great deal were complete failures for a very long time. It’s part of the reason why I started this blog. I was so caught up in the pain and embarrassment of failure that I didn’t realize it was part of the process.
Sure, I didn’t finish what I started. But that was because I thought it should be easier. It shouldn’t be this hard, I thought. Why do I have to struggle? Why do I have to go through all this turmoil and pain and upset? Shouldn’t I get to the finish line faster? And those questions set me off on tangents, spinning off in other directions.
2. The Obstacle Is The Way
One of my favorite books in the world is a book by Ryan Holiday entitled, The Obstacle Is The Way. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest that you do. In the book, Holiday chronicles the importance of the obstacle. In fact, the thing we see as being an impediment to our goals, is actually a blessing in disguise.
But how many times do we actually think that? How often do we sit there and say, okay, great, this thing is happening for me, and not to me. Rather, we lament. We cry. And we feel sorry for ourselves. Instead of figuring out ways to blow past the obstacle, we remain hung up on the fact that it’s blocking us from our dreams.
However, once you realize that whatever it is that you’re going through is truly going to make you stronger, you will always feel that way. Now, when you flip the script, and you use that obstacle to breakthrough your ultimate fears, that’s when the real magic happens. Growth is painful. It truly is. But it’s also part of the process on this journey we call life.
3. Mindset Is Everything
There’s a famous quote by Henry Ford. Probably one of my favorite quotes of all time, in fact. It goes something like this. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Now, maybe you don’t think this. But Ford failed numerous times. They were earth-shattering failures. The kinds of epic proportions.
It never seemed to go in his favor. Everything he ever touched was doomed. At least that’s what he thought. Considering the fact that his first business went bankrupt and he was forced to walk away from the second business, it’s no wonder. He struggled for 15 years to succeed. Yet, he couldn’t quite figure out how.
How did he eventually figure it out and make his dream a reality? How did he finish what he started with trying to create a mass-production, affordable automobile? Simple. It was all in his mind. Mindset is everything. Yes, you need other things for the so-called recipe for success. But without mindset, you have nothing.
4. Shift Into A State Of Gratitude
When we fail or things don’t go our way, we tend to beat ourselves up. We get down on ourselves. And that’s normal for the most part. But doing that also moves you out of a state of gratitude. You move into a lower vibrational frequency. It’s called scarcity. When you’re in a state of scarcity, nothing seems to go your way.
The problem is that in the wake of not finishing what we start, we often feel like complete failures. And it feels implausible that we should be grateful for anything. However, that is part of the secret sauce. You have to move out of a state of scarcity and into a state of positivity. If you don’t, you’ll find it impossible to get through the tough times.
So how can you be grateful for what you have rather than lamenting what you don’t? Simple, you have to condition yourself to appreciate the little things. We often fail to appreciate what we have until it’s gone. If you’re healthy, you can’t appreciate your health. But when your health is in jeopardy, that’s when you realize you never appreciated what you had.
Write Down Everything You’re Grateful For
You might find this silly. But I promise you that it works. Find everything that you’re grateful for, down to the very simplest and most obscure things that you take for granted. For example, your bones. Be grateful that you have bones in your body that hold “you” together. And limbs. Hands, feet, arms, fingers, toes, elbows, a neck and so on.
And you’re six feet above ground. Be grateful for that. Other people are not. They aren’t here any longer. You are. So appreciate that. Write it down. Express your sincere gratitude for life. If you have a home, be grateful for that. Others do not. You have a heart beating inside your chest, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without fail. Keeping you alive. Be grateful for it.
You have a kidney and lungs and other organs that are keeping you alive, day and night. You don’t have to think about it. But it’s there. You have neurons and nerve cells, red blood cells, white blood cells, an immune system, and on and on. So be grateful for them. Write it down. You can read and think. And air to breathe. Be grateful for all those things.
Something extraordinary happens when you shift into a state of gratitude. You begin to attract good things rather than bad things. But you have to approach it with sincerity. Not skepticism.
5. Discipline Is The Bridge
It’s no secret that discipline is a primary ingredient in the success recipe. However, if you have trouble finishing what you start, discipline get literally become your lifeline. Why? Because, when you’re disciplined, you don’t have to think about doing what it takes to succeed. You just do it. And you push through the times when you don’t feel like doing so.
However, if you have bad habits that are holding you back in life, it’s hard to get anything done. Time seems to pass by in a heartbeat, and months, or even years from now, we’re no further than we are today. But when you have true discipline, it changes everything. It flips the script. And it allows you to leverage the silent power we all have inside of us to change any situation in our lives for the better.
But how do you build discipline? How do you create real discipline when you’re so used to living your life in a state of reaction, steeped in bad habits? It’s not simple. But there are some steps you can do to make it easier no yourself. Some hacks, so to speak. But nothing in life is easy. Everything takes work, sweat and real effort.
How To Quickly Bounce Back After Failure
Look, if you feel the way I felt when my life imploded and shattered into a million little pieces, then we’re kindred spirits. You and I are one and the same. But just understand this one thing. Giving up should never be an option. It’s all about persistence. You have to push through the pain and navigate through the seas of despair if you want to arrive on the shores of hope.
It’s about more than finishing what you start. This is about understanding who you are. Your purpose here in life. Why you’re doing what you’re doing. Don’t think that everything is designed as an impediment. Sometimes the obstacle truly is the way. You just have to learn to look at things as happening for you not to you.
But most importantly, you can’t beat yourself up. Even if you’ve failed. No matter how bad it was, you can always bounce back. Sometimes you just need some guidance. But everything that you ever needed to succeed is already inside of you. All you have to do is tap into it. If you can learn to do that, that’s where the real magic starts to happen.