How does it feel when you see those around you succeeding at just about everything they do, but you can't seem to catch a break? Do you have that gross feeling in your stomach that because you feel less than other people? Do you struggle with thoughts like I a failure or why am I a failure?
You are not alone in this. There are millions of people in the same boat wondering the same thing, am I a failure? The answer to their question and yours is simple, yet somewhat complicated.
The simple answer is no, you are not a failure... I will get into this later.
The complicated answer is this: If you think you are a failure, you have a greater chance of failing. Overtime the toxic belief that you are a failure can have a compounding effect.
Let's say your parents never practiced playing sports with you as a kid. When it was time to play baseball or basketball at school most of the other kids were a lot better than you. This could have made you feel like a failure. They were better than you because they practiced more, but because you weren't as good you may have lost confidence in yourself.
Confidence is usually a key component that is needed for success. Take another example, but this time in academics. Let's say your parents never made you do your homework or ever helped you overcome academic problems. Then in school you watched everyone else get A's and B's, but you would average getting C's and D's. This may have also made you feel like a failure.
Let's do one more example. Let's say you are at home and you want to pour your own milk on your cereal, but you don't quite have the strength yet and the milk dumps all over the counter. Then mom or dad comes out and says "can't you do anything right?" Would this make you feel like a failure? As an adult the answer is no, but as a child, this would be a logical conclusion.
People often develop the belief that they are a failure or that they suck at life because of repeated incidents throughout their life. Most often when they are a child. You develop your core beliefs while you are a child and everything else builds on top of them. It is easiest to develop negative and toxic beliefs as a child because your brain isn't developed yet.
Your parents are in charge of making sure your brain gets programmed correctly. Unfortunately most parents don't know how because they weren't taught themselves, so don't go blaming them for everything. You have the chance to change this generational cycle with you and your kids.
These toxic beliefs can limit your potential in many areas in your life. These unconscious beliefs are stored in your brain and are always running in the background.
Let's take two scenarios to see how two similar people respond to the stresses of starting a business. One will have the belief they are a failure and the other doesn't.
Scenario one... Everything goes well until it doesn't. Once it doesn't, that same old program that says "I am a failure" kicks in. It reminds you that you aren't good enough and that you should just quit. You are 6 months in and not profitable yet. Because you always fail, you might as well quit before it gets any worse. These thoughts and feelings become crippling so you shut down.
The second scenario is someone that doesn't have this belief. They share the same ups and downs in business. Because they believe they are successful, they keep working and trying until the business actually does succeed. They were tempted to quit, but they know that most businesses take a few years to become profitable so they keep trying until they actually succeed.
Both people have the same potential, except that one believes in themselves and the other doesn't. They both could have the same skills and knowledge, but like the saying goes, you are your own worst enemy.
You can be fairly certain that you have this toxic belief if you have the question "Am I a failure" in your vocabulary on a fairly consistent basis.
Let me get back to answering if you are a failure or not. As I said, the simple answer is no. You aren't a failure because you are a human being. Humans are capable of great things. Your brain is more powerful than the most powerful supercomputer in existence.
The only thing you have wrong with you is your belief that you are one.
Try going back to when you first developed this belief and imagine yourself in those situations. Instead of forming the belief that you are a failure, you can come up with a new belief. You can say to yourself, "it looks like I need to practice more." You can also choose to believe that the people around you are better because they have more experience.
You should come up with several other healthy beliefs regarding each scenario. It is helpful if you say it out loud. Then from now on when you fail or make a mistake, you just say to yourself "I need more practice."
Would you ask yourself the question am I a failure, if you didn't pass a level on Mario Bros or some other game? Of course not. You would just try again until you succeeded. That's how life is. If you fail, just keep trying until you succeed. There is no reason to think negative about yourself just because you didn't do as well as you wanted.
My personal equation of success is Wisdom + Risk + (Time x Effort) = Success.
Wisdom is knowing how to properly use the knowledge you have plus taking on some form of risk (financial, emotional, physical, etc.), then you add this with effort multiplied by time. The more effort you put in on a consistent timeline, the greater your chances of success in anything. You are almost guaranteed success with this equation. Give it a try!
After reading this I want you to answer the questions am I a failure or why am I a failure.
Your answers should be NO and I'M NOT. If they aren't then you may need a little more convincing. Please check out the article Why am I I bad at Everything. That should help as well.
Take care and be nice to yourself!
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