“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill.
Recently, I went back to my old trusted and true resource of Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill after completing a podcast with Nicola Grace – The Mission Mentor. We were talking about how “you cannot afford to have a negative thought.” Our thoughts are so powerful and can speak to your future. As I was flipping the pages, I came across 31 Reasons for Failure. Now, if you have not read this book, you must. I am not going to go through all thirty-one, however, I do want to touch on some significant ones I have seen in my coaching practice and people I interact with daily. I have overcome some of these too.
No Defined Purpose or Aim. One of the reasons for failure is that there are individuals who lack clarity. They have no idea what they want to do or what they are here to do. Without clarity, they wonder aimlessly through life and have no direction and hence no drive.
Lack of Ambition. Strive to Get By. There are so many opportunities available to excel. Too many people put in just enough effort to get by and settle for mediocrity. They do not put in the extra effort required to get to the next level. Effort cannot be taught; it must come from within. They lack the drive to succeed. If this is you, you need to tap into the “why” you do what you do perhaps your why is not strong enough.
Lack of Education. When faced with a challenge, I have heard people say, “I can’t do that. I do not know enough.” Today with the internet you have no excuses and even before the internet you could find a way to learn what you needed to. There are free courses offered by distinguished teachers and education institutions offered online 24/7 through websites like Coursera and Udemy. Then there is Google, type in the question you are asking and get the answer at your finger tips in moments. If you need to take some courses professionally, then do so. You can also interview people who have the education you are lacking to learn more. Don’t forget the libraries are full of books that can support you. You can overcome a lack of education. You need to push yourself to do it.
Lack of Self-Discipline. In my work with Emotional Intelligence, this is a hot topic as self- awareness is the key to transformational change. If you want to improve in any area, first work to improve yourself and your habits. You cannot control other people. You can only control yourself. When you develop self-mastery, then you can focus on how you interact with others. The biggest area of control for self-discipline is reining in the negativity and shifting and reframing into a positive mindset.
Procrastination. Some people work well under pressure and they find that procrastination serves them. Procrastination can quickly lead to missed deadlines and opportunities. People will avoid assigning projects or task to you because you are not reliable. Underlying procrastination is the need to have everything just perfect. Perfectionists are often waiting for everything to be “just right” – the timing must be right, the right people must be in place, or the right environment must be set up. The timing with never be just right. You need to get started and adjust the course as you go; better resources will appear as you start on your journey.
Lack of Persistence. My friend and colleague Lori Raudnask has a book called, Persistence Pays. She talks about how you can get what you want in life if you persist. It is way too easy to quit at the first sign of defeat whether you have been rejected by a publisher or the bank or getting your first sale. You have not failed if you discover the lesson. The lesson of how to improve. Failure cannot exist if you keep taking intentional action and stay determined to succeed.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas A. Edison
Indecisiveness. The inability to make a decision is making a decision. Opportunities only last so long before they are taken away. If you are unable to assess situations and information and decide, you will have your future determined by other others who do. You need to learn how to become more decisive. Being indecisive is not different than procrastinating and waiting for someone to rescue you or do the work for you. Get going – do the work and make the decision.
These are seven reasons for failure. There are several others. Think of the reasons you have failed in the past. What did you learn? What would you do differently now that you have learned this? Now that you have the awareness, there are no excuses! You need to take different actions to get different results.
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DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free mp3 download today! www.debrakasowski.com
Keywords: persistence, persistence pays, reasons for failure, Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich, getting what you want, procrastination