2023 Positive Thought Strategy

Just because things could have been different….

I was out walking this morning, it’s been raining A LOT (I know many of you will relate to that!) and the river is in flood. It’s a beautiful walk that I do most mornings. Today however, I couldn’t cross the bridge because of the raging water, so I picked my way through the mud on the less sunny side.


It got me to thinking about how in life we often have pivotal moments in life where we are presented with the choice of two paths. We may have absolutely envisaged ourselves over the bridge on the sunny side, but for whatever reason that is not the path we end up on:


Maybe someone else closed the bridge


Maybe the bridge was impassable despite our best efforts 


Maybe we were just too damn scared ourselves to cross the bridge


The point is, there was a fork in the road and we took the other path. We took (whether by force of circumstance, someone else’s fuckery, or by our own hand) a different path.


We can look over to that sunny side of the river and think that’s where we “should” be. That’s what we planned for ourselves after all.


That relationship

That career move

That house

That town

That health situation


But here is the thing, as I walked down the shady side this morning. I saw some twittering wild birds, said hello to an elderly lady with her even more elderly dog, and…oh…stop…pause, be still…I saw a little rabbit just munching on his breakfast not 3 metres away from me!


Just because things could have been different, doesn’t mean they would have been better. 


That relationship really might not have ended up being all that down the road.


That career move you so wanted may not have led where you thought.


That house you set your heart on maybe there is a better one coming.


That town you thought wanted maybe there is something special in the adventure in your second choice you could never have anticipated


That health situation that is so awful when it’s so acute may lead you down a whole different life path with what you learn.


There is an amazing old proverb that says if we were to look at the total pile of someone else’s problems, on reflection, most of us would rather pick back up our pile of our own issues.


I think so too with our choices. Sometimes it takes a LOT of time and perspective (a lot of water under the bridge so to speak) to pass before we can see it, but very often when we look back, we would not swap back to our original path choice.


We can see with the clarity of hindsight that just because things could have been different, doesn’t mean they necessarily would have been better. 


That now, we actually wouldn’t swap.


We are right where we are meant to be.


This thought gave me a lot of peace this morning as I walked along, so I hope it reaches whoever needs to hear it today.

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5 Signs You Are Being True To Yourself

It’s an interesting thing – some people just seem to be born knowing who they are and even from a small child you see them plough their individual furrow in life.

Their way, right from the Get Go. Right outta the gate, they are true to their unique take on the world and their place within it. The majority of us though…It. Takes. Time. So much people-pleasing to be done first, no! Decades of it! Myriad school, qualification, partner, career, home choices, and so on to be made to fit the vision that other people have or expect.

How does it look when you start trusting your own version of you? How do you know when you are starting to live more truly to yourself?

1. You can give yourself permission to change your mind
And – you can change your mind without calling it quitting and beating your sweet self up over it. You just know it’s not right for you. Maybe it was before. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was a mistake all along. But – regardless of what other’s judgement might be about you saying the course – you know it’s wrong and you give yourself permission to change direction anyway

2. You’ve outgrown a few relationships or situations and you are not clinging or feeling guilty about it.
Life is all about growth: internal and external, and it’s at different speeds and directions for us all. And that’s okay. You may outgrow friendship groups. Or relationships, or careers, or countries and all of that is ok. We are not meant to stay the same forever, and nor is anyone else. In such a global world of possibility and opportunity, our personal journeys are meant to overlap with many others – and we might be on parallel tracks for a bit and then one or the other might speed up. We are not left behind or in front. We are just on different tracks and that’s more than ok. Release with love.

3. You realise that life doesn’t feel good, all of the time, and that’s ok too.
This is a biggie. The “pursuit of happiness” after all is drummed into us left, right and centre from before we can walk. But – as humans we are created, programmed, to experience and process a range of human emotion: not just happiness. We might be happiness seeking machines, but we are also programmed to feel sadness, guilt, irritation, boredom, anger, resentment, fear. When we can observe these emotions for a moment without frantically trying to escape them (Booze! Drugs! Overworking! Exercising like crazy! Food! Sugar! Pizza! Oh, go on then just one more slice! Wine! Just a quick one!) we can discern what their message to us is – and how to course-correct ourselves. That it is actually easier to navigate which way happiness is when we know where it isn’t, and we can refine the road all the way. That it’s actually just more efficient to allow ourselves to feel sad, or scared or bored, to move through that feeling – than it is to keep and avoiding feeling it with one more wine. When you are being true to yourself you are being true to what you really feel.

4. Some people like you, some people don’t and that’s ok.
7 billion people on the planet. They ain’t all gonna like you and approve of you and all your choices. It’s an impossibility to even try. You do you. Let them do them. Don’t sweat the haters. Stay in your integrity. The more you love your choices the less you need other people to.

5. You have boundaries that you hold, no matter the consequences.
When you start realising that your boundaries are not things you put up to beat other people with, but merely lines in the sand that keep YOU safe, that you can stand behind – and other people can choose accordingly – that is a huge step on living a life that is true to yourself.

To be able to say “this is ok for me, and this, this is not, this I will not tolerate” and then let others choose how they will behave around you. There is an enormous sense of peace in that. Most will respect your boundary, and say “of course, that is no problem, I had no idea that was so important to you” and a few will not and test if you really mean it. Being able to voice a boundary is huge. Being able to stand firm on your boundary, and know what is a non-negotiable for you IS being true to you. At its very essence, it is where you – stand up and show up – for you.

To being true to yourself, my friend.


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Thank you so much for stopping by! I’m Louise Thompson: life coach, author and newspaper columnist – and I hope my words have lifted your day or given you something to ponder.


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I Will Claim My Power

There are few feelings more dispiriting that feeling trapped. When we feel we are in a situation where we have no choices it feels like the walls are closing in. We can feel paralysed and the third, less common, “f” comes into play: fight, flight and …freeze. When we feel like we have no choice what we will do is freeze.

Because we don’t have a great choice we want to make, we make no choice at all. So we stick. We feel stuck. We have all been there and feeling frozen and trapped is one of the worst feelings in the world.

Drawing on timeless wisdom that sometimes the only way out is through and that things might have to get worse before they get better (hey, things become cliché’s for a reason, no?!), I’d like to draw your attention to a quote that will muster your resolve if you are currently feeling trapped by circumstance:

Taken from the great American author and activist Alice Walker (she wrote The Colour Purple) it is, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any”, and I have to concur.

The nature of my work is that clients come to me when they feel frozen and stuck. Stuck in a career that’s too much of a gilded cage to leave. Stuck in a relationship that would break too many hearts to depart. Stuck in a country they don’t want to be in by legalities. Stuck in a lifestyle that is ruining their health. That feeling of being trapped is hard. When we feel we are out of choices we feel truly out of joy, momentum and the happiness tank rapidly drains to zero.

Thing is, it is a fundamental truth that the only thing we HAVE to do is breathe, so we actually DO always have a choice.

Hideous and hard choices may be but there are always choices. Choices you may not want to face but choices that will break the inertia that is creating the paralysing stuck-ness. The key is to force movement (however small) and start the process of unsticking. Lift the paralysis by moving from freeze into fight or flight. The movement inherent in both those choices will feel hard but liberating.

When we perceive we have no power in a situation we inevitably feel trapped. I have clients step back and treat it like a creative brainstorming exercise. Take away any expectation of action and just be creative.

If this was someone else’s issue, what possible options could they have? Brainstorm as many as you can. Options A through G, H and so on. Sell the house, make a huge loss. Get a bank loan that takes years to pay off. Hire a private detective. Put Dad in a hospice. Take a 3-month sabbatical. Ask Aunty Carol for a loan. Let them leave the country without you. Take a rental even though you have always owned your own place. Brainstorm the hideous options out. Take your power back by acknowledging that you DO have choices, you are never completely stuck, there are always options. List as many as you possibly can, no matter how hard or crazy or tangential.

Just the action of doing this will make you feel freer and more able to see the way forwards.

Gradually one option will start to feel less onerous than the rest, and a way forward will become clear where you can step back into your power. It was there the whole time, you just needed to step back and let the solution emerge from the knowledge that you do have choices.

We are only ever as trapped as we think we are.

Grab a white board marker, get brave and step back into your power.

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Accept the Unacceptable.

I will (sometimes) accept the unacceptable.

There are absolutely times to stand up and fight the unacceptable. To reassert boundaries and say “You know what, that’s not okay for me”. To muster the courage for a scary conversation or make a big brave leap and leave a situation that is not serving or safe for you. There are absolutely times where something is not acceptable and we need to change it. Much of my work is helping people to stand up and be counted in their own lives and to make those choices and changes with confidence and clarity. There are times to fight, to dig deep and make a radical change to the unacceptable head on.

However, there are other times where conversely the brave choice is not fighting but acceptance of the unacceptable. Occasionally the stuckness we feel is because we are permanently wrestling with the unacceptable, that it “should” be another way, but… it simply cannot be. The energy that goes into resisting reality can be incredible. The thing is if you are resisting the present with all your might you have very little capacity for building the future.

Stop the struggle I say. Gaining clarity on which unacceptable situations are ones you can change or leave, and which ones you have no option other than to accept for what they are, is key to releasing feeling stuck or trapped. If you cannot change it or leave it you need to accept it.

You have a fact not a problem.

A problem has a solution (might be hard but it’s there). A fact is what it is. And so if you are going to have to accept it, sooner is often far better than later.

If you have a situation that is unacceptable (eg. your partner has left and is absolutely not returning; your company is being forced into receivership; you have been made redundant; your sister is a drug addict, the dream house you had plans drawn up for you can no longer afford to build, there has been a change in management with sweeping policy changes etc) do you put your energy into fighting the unacceptable tooth and nail, or into creating something new? You only have so much capacity. Do you throw it forwards or do you stay stuck with it in the present?

Refusing to either change or accept the unacceptable creates stuckness.

If you want to feel free, sometimes the only way out is to accept the unacceptable.

That doesn’t mean admitting the current situation is satisfactory in any way, it means accepting it as a reality. It means agreeing it’s a fact and moving on. The key question is where do you want to keep emotionally investing? In an outcome you can’t change or building a new one with whatever you have left at your disposal.

Perhaps your situation in your life that is wholly unacceptable to you but that you are tolerating, wrestling with or feeling stuck about? Clear the path, and stop struggling with it. Either step up and do the necessary big brave choice to improve it or leave it, or, if those options are not open acknowledge you have an unpalatable fact.

Accept it. Accept the unacceptable.

Set yourself free with as much grace as you can muster. And move on with what you still have to create a better future.


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Are you more disciplined than you think?

Last week a chance meeting with another self-development devotee led to a fascinating question of, “What is discipline?” Initially, it was a conversation around exercise and fitness, but of course, it’s a much, much bigger part of life than that.

Discipline sounds hard and harsh, but actually, it’s about choice. That we always have a choice. In some situations, the choice might be between two or three pretty unpalatable options, but a choice nonetheless. Discipline is choosing when there is a choice to be made, even when that decision is a hard one.

Discipline is to KEEP CHOOSING in favour of that outcome or destination even in the face of opposition.

Discipline is gathering our reserves to overcome obstacles when it’s so much easier to quit. Discipline is choosing in favour of our values – living them – not just stating them, but making a choice of integrity in the moment (which is, let’s face it, when it counts). Discipline is choosing what we want most over what we fancy right now.

What does she fancy right now? Netflix and pizza on the couch. What does she want most? To fit into her skinnies and zip them all the way up – so that means choosing less of the pizza or having a run first.  What does he say his values are? Fidelity and family. So, that means choosing to walk away from the flirty colleague in the bar at midnight, however flattering and ego stroking it might feel in that moment. She’s the boss, so it’s steeling herself to make an unpopular but right choice to restructure and follow it through with conviction however tough it may be.

Discipline is self-governance in action.

It’s choosing to do the thing you don’t fancy right now (pounding the pavement in the rain / making the zillionth lunchbox / answering tedious emails) in order to serve a higher, longer-term purpose (finishing the marathon / keeping the children well-nourished / holding a job and making money to live on).

We all have moments where we take the route of least resistance. Have the second helping even though we are totally replete. Skip the workout because we can’t be arsed. Give someone good feedback when it really wasn’t a job well done because we wanted to avoid feeling anxious with a hard conversation. Not walking away when we know we should have. Not stepping up or speaking up when we know in our gut it was the right thing to do.

That’s human nature and none of us is perfect.

I think many of us think we are undisciplined – but actually, we are far more disciplined than we think. I generally see that people are lacking discipline in only one or two areas of life, but in the rest, they operate with a steely determination come what may. Channelling the same discipline of showing up to work or for our children into showing up for our body at the gym is actually a process of applying something we already know how to do, just in a different area of life.

When we practice discipline we can put ourselves in line for a far greater emotional payout down the line. When you look at some of your greatest achievements and proudest moments, you will see that most of them were built on a strong bedrock of discipline.

Discipline is more than a decision.

It’s a life practice, an ongoing series of choices. Discipline comes from discipulus, the Latin word for pupil, which infers that it’s a part of a process of learning. And so it is. When we know better we can choose better. And keep choosing better.

Essentially, discipline boils down to this: The choice between what feels good now or what will feel truly great later.

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Change The Game

This picture meme I came across at random is everything I believe.

Physical wellbeing is *obviously* really important.

But it is often given far higher importance than our emotional, mental and spiritual health and wellbeing.

Change The Game

The interesting thing is that when we attend to our mental, emotional and spiritual health (with smart, easy to apply coaching tools) we start to feel comfortable in our own skin in a way we may never have done: and that becomes the foundation for almost effortless physical health choices.

Those diets that stop, start, stop, start: you just start to eat healthy ongoing because you want to.

It stops being hard, and becomes the obvious choice.

That excessive habit wagon you have fallen in and off time and time again? You don’t need another 30-Day miracle boot camp promising you the world or a gym membership that lapses and you feel guilty about; you need to attend to your boundaries, learn why you worry about stuff and exactly how to stop it, and generally expand your level of self-awareness and trust: and, guess what…you’ll exercise regularly because you want to, because it’s just what you do. No fuss. No struggle.

That crazy lack of rest and downtime, running on empty and lack of balance? Do the deep work and watch that fall into place. Start honouring your mind and body with appropriate self-care without force or guilt.

If you are O.V.E.R. doing the same thing, listening to the same old promises, falling on and off the same ole wagon with the same ole excuses…

Do. Something. Different.

Learn how to take care of your wellbeing – emotional, mental and spiritual – and watch your physical wellbeing fall into place.

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Feel different?

Change. The. Game.

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Regrets … I’ve had a few …

Regret is a profoundly uncomfortable emotion and one that we will all have to wrestle with at some point in our lives. We can experience as regret the consequences of what we did or didn’t do – often only apparent years, or decades later, like not taking the OE at 19, or quitting when in hindsight we wish we had pushed through. We can also feel regret immediately – classic house buyer’s remorse, or that super expensive pair of shoes we talked ourselves into last week that we didn’t really need (okay that was me).

When people come for life coaching, it is usually at some sort of pivotal time in life, something status quo disrupting is occurring…maybe the last teen is about to fly the empty nest; or the marriage has just exploded; a promotion is feeling totally overwhelming; a new business is being launched and so on. It’s a time where regret can come to the surface, and channelling that forwards in a healthy way is so important. Regret is a signal that a choice made needs reflection, and is part the human experience rather than something to be feared.

These are the 6 regrets that seem to surface the most at these times of pivot, and these are great lessons for any time. The good news is that by reviewing these, now we don’t need a health crisis to take stock, we can do it any time we choose.

Now’s good:

  1. I wish hadn’t worried so much about being so “nice” and I’d spoken up Caring too much what other people might think of me and so driving some of my life choices to make them happy rather than me.


  1. I wish I hadn’t put so much of myself into work. Out of whack balance of time, attention or energy into the workplace and an under investment in family / health / personal growth / finances / social / community.


  1. “I wish I hadn’t always prioritised their needs at the expense of my own”. It can be fine if those people or that situation sticks around for life, but if they don’t, or you don’t, then there can be a big gap to fill in finances/ opportunity / location / etc.


  1. I wish I hadn’t prioritised people I shouldn’t have. In retrospect seeing that a significant unequal emotional investment was being made, or an investment that was not in line with true values or in a direction that was unworthy and could have been far better directed elsewhere.


  1. I wish I hadn’t let things go on for longer so much than they should have – job, home, relationships, social commitments and so on. People know deep down what the right choice was and wish they had made it sooner. I see this especially when someone has made the leap and left  – massive relief coupled with regret it wasn’t earlier.


  1. I wish I’d taken better care of my body and looked after my physical needs more consistently. Self-care gets so regularly bumped down the priority list when in fact it’s the foundation for being able to show up with effectiveness for the rest of life and our responsibilities.


Regret is always based on the assumption that we shouldacouldawoulda made a different choice at a given point in time. That there was an alternate path to take, and… we just didn’t take it. It’s easy to look back with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and thing we should have gone a different way. The thing is – we can only do the best we can with what we know AT THE TIME. So the person we are NOW with the life experience and information we learnt the hard way; we might make a better call – but we can only ever proceed from who we are, what we know and where we are at the time.


As the late great Maya Angelou said “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”


So – how to use regret with purpose, rather than wallow? Well firstly, know that a little reflection is a good thing: what we don’t regret or reflect in we are destined to repeat. Viewing regret as a vehicle for learning and growth is a great start.

Secondly, sometimes our regretful choices have adversely impacted others – so if you can make reparation then do. Make amends. Apologise. It might not be possible but if it is, then this is part of the know better do better piece.

And finally – if it’s a choice that you regret not making, and it’s still on the table, possibly in a slightly altered format, then take it! Cruise rather than Kontiki Europe and enjoy every moment. If it’s available, push past the regret and choose in favour of what you always wanted.

And if you can’t – then get fully behind the choice you HAVE made. Endlessly re-litigating a choice that is in the rear-view mirror is pointless, regret or no. If it’s irreversible you might as well get behind it. Regretting your option when there is no other option other than to press on sends your energy backwards to a choice you can’t change – rather than forwards to the ones that you still can.

So – regret, although uncomfortable can be a profoundly helpful emotion! It has a purpose! Don’t dwell on it, use it. Regret. Reflect. Reparation. Release. Reposition.


“Regrets. I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention” sang ole Blue Eyes.

We are all going to have a few. It’s what we do with them that counts.


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Tapping into your Intuition

Ask anyone when their intuition has played a part in their life, and you will hear some blow-your-socks-off stories.

 “Met my now husband on a Monday evening, he took me to a bar on a Wednesday evening, and there was a white light shining on him, and I just knew he would be my husband. When he proposed on Saturday (yes five days later), I said yes and introduced him to my parents as my fiancé. That was 22 years ago last week.”

“Actually last week when I felt a new job wasn’t right for me and pulled away and today we get an email saying the company is shelving plans for a while. Imagine if I’d left my current job… happy my intuition said no and I listened!”

“When I met my husband on the first day of my first full-time job, I just knew. We were friends for a year, went out for six months then engaged (at 19!). Now married for 28 years.”

“In 2011, when I took eight months off work to travel around South East Asia, I just knew it was the right thing to do – I was bored with my job, and there were so many things I wanted to see and the time just felt right. I booked the trip, willing to resign from work, but my boss gave me unpaid leave, and while I was away, the person doing the job I wanted went on maternity leave, so the perfect job was there for me when I got back!”

There is a piece of us that speaks the most profound truth, but it does not use words.  There is a purity of insight available from a place beyond language. A mysterious visceral “knowing.” What’s interesting is that we all have examples of how intuition has weighed in so dramatically on BIG decisions – which person to marry/leave, which country to stay/leave, which house to buy/sell, is she cheating with her boss or not,  and so on. That this mysterious knowing was there for the BIG stuff, and when we listened it was spookily spot on. Sometimes, of course, we only know that in hindsight. The classic “I just knew it was the wrong job/man/house/…if only I had gone with my gut, I’d have saved myself so much drama.” With the big things in life we are aware (hopefully before the fact, but too often after) that we have access to this place of knowing, if only we choose to a) listen and then b) trust what it says.

The thing is though…our voice of intuition IS actually there ALL the time, all day, every day, whispering away about the SMALL stuff too. Which motorway exit to take; to say yes or no to coffee; to leave now or in 15 mins. It’s just that we get so caught up in the left brain busyness of doing doing doing that we blast past the whispers of intuition that actually could have made us an impromptu new friend, found us a new client or saved us getting caught up in the bad traffic.

Before you say “Oh I’m just not intuitive,” actually EVERYONE is intuitive to some degree. Each and every one of us is intuitive, just as each and every one of us is creative to a differing extent. It’s an ability that all human beings are built with – it’s just the degree to which you are LISTENING and trusting that it informs and guides your life.

Your intuition is there if you stop and feel out for the place beyond words where the truth sits. There is always a part of you that knows the answer (even if you don’t want to). That knowledge is there. And it’s a lot more trustable that the words in your mind, that cause worry, anxiety, analysis paralysis and endless double guessing.

Can we live a little more from the place below thought, from the place of trust and knowing? I think we can. It comes from believing that we have a spiritual guidance system at our disposal, a Spiritual GPS if you like, and that it has always useful information for us on hand, not just for the big life altering decisions but for navigating the everyday ones more smoothly too.

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2 Killer Questions To Beat Back To Work Blues!

Happy Monday, people! For many of you today is The First Day Back At Work, and might be accompanied with that sinking feeling known as the Back To Work Blues, traditional in these parts late January each year. Well fear not good people, I have a top technique for you to get back into the swing of things.

There are two questions I recommend you ask yourself on Day 1 when you have the benefit of full energy and perspective having stepped back from the coal face for several weeks. When we are stuck on the hamster wheel of doing, doing, doing it can be hard to get the bigger picture we need to see what’s truly working for us and what’s not.  When we are stressed and in the thick of it we tend to get caught up in the detail and just add more and more things to the To Do list. On Day 1 of a fresh new working year, whilst you have the benefit of a fresh and elevated perspective about what’s important it’s a great time to consider these two questions:


What’s one thing I am going to START doing in 2018?


What’s one thing I am going to STOP doing in 2018?


Deceptively simple questions. Rather than creating an exhaustive and overwhelming To Do list of goals, resolutions and projects that makes your heart sink just looking at it, try making a simple commitment on Day 1 to just one thing to START doing, and one thing to STOP doing that will refocus your energy on what you can control and kick your year off with focus.

So – you might want to START leaving on time on Tuesdays, or start filing emails as they come in rather than letting your inbox get out of control, or have one day a week that is designated meeting free so you can get bigger project work done. You might want to START making a regular lunch date with a mentor, or START fresh with a difficult client relationship or START speaking up for yourself more confidently.

You might want to STOP getting sucked into complaining conversations with Bob from Accounts or STOP repeatedly submitting your expenses late, or STOP bitching about the inventory system because it doesn’t actually change anything. You might want to STOP buying stuff from the vending machine or STOP being taken advantage of by a certain person who does not reciprocate.  Or STOP habitually apologising when you haven’t done anything wrong.

Look at where your energy goes.

Who and what GIVES you energy and enthusiasm, and who and what DEPLETES it? There is a well-known quote that is variously attributed to Tony Robbins, Henry Ford and others that says

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

So if you want a little more from 2018, and are ready for more… maybe more fun, more responsibility, more growth…then you need to change something up. It really can be as simple as stopping something that after time for reflection doesn’t serve you (even though you may have habitually been carrying it out for years, decades even) and starting a life or work affirming attitude or behaviour that will have positive ripple effects through the year, starting something that you have no idea what the outcome or effects will be. But starting anyway.

So, if it’s your Day 1 today. Welcome back! Commit to something to start, and something to stop in 2018 and get set for a great year.

And for those of you who still have a week or more to go…enjoy… and have a cold one for the rest of us!

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Redefining Failure

Is there anywhere in your life that you feel like you are failing? It’s a very uncomfortable feeling. No one likes to fail, do they? Fear of failure can leave people stuck for years, decades even, in situations that do not serve them because they are too scared to fail so they don’t move at all. Fear of failure is an incredibly common unhappiness trap. And yet, the paradox is that when we observe at uber-successful people they have generally had more “failures” than the average person, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson to name but two. Could failure be an intrinsic part of success?

Here is what I see successful people thinking and doing about failure:

  1. They allow themselves to fail. They are not scared of failure. They know failure is an inevitability of the path of a life well lived. An unavoidable component of a life that contains some risk, adventure, and growth. Not everything will work out, it’s impossible to know in advance, but that shouldn’t stop the journey. They are not scared to fail because failure is not scary. Failure is just a part of life.

  3. They do not define themselves by the failure. They don’t make the failure all about them: they keep the failure external. That relationship failed. That business venture failed. It was tough. It hurt. It could have been different or better. There is much to be learned. And things to be changed. This is really different to internalizing the failure and telling yourself “I’ve failed. I’m a failure”. Successful people see failure as a catalyst for change and self-reflection but not self-hate or blame.

  5. They don’t get paralyzed by failure. They keep moving, they don’t dwell on it. Learn. Move. Fail. Learn. Move. They take action. They don’t let failure become an excuse to procrastinate and stall. They fail fast so they can keep the momentum going.
Samuel Beckett once wrote: “Try again. Fail again. Fail better”.
The Financial Times said Mark Zuckerberg’s updated version would read: “Try again. Fail faster”.
Samuel Beckett also wrote: “This sums it up perfectly. Successful people do not let failure drain them of momentum or purpose.

  1. They see failure as a data collection exercise into what doesn’t work. It’s not failure: it’s an opportunity to learn something. They are curious about why it failed and what can be learned.

  3. They look for the positives even in the face of a very negative situation. “That launch did not drive customers like we expected, on the plus side it refined our customer complain process into something more robust going forward”. ”That relationship didn’t work out, it’s been horribly painful. On the plus side I have learned an important boundary around the speed and process with which I would attempt a blended family again”.

In short, successful people are not scared of failure because it is not scary. They do not have a rigid idea of what success looks like. They enjoy the ride. They can look at the experience as a whole and find some gratitude in it before moving swiftly on. They are not afraid to talk about their failures. They don’t bury them. They see them as part of the path to their success.

If you have an area of life that is currently failing, that’s an amazing opportunity to learn something profound about yourself and your situation. Redefining “failure” as a stepping-stone on the route to success can be a powerful mindset shift that will bring you results across all facets of your life.

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