Why do people fail? Why do their dreams fail to take root? We’d like to believe that the answer lies at the other end of asking, ‘Why do people succeed?’ We pretty much know why we succeed. Earl Nightingale said it best: Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.
In many ways, though, the truth is embedded somewhere in between – people fail or succeed in the middle ground between belief and habit, between low aim and goal, between fear and faith. We fail for many reasons, but failure can be summed up in one word: attitude. A change in our attitude can result in a change in our circumstances. Here are three common attitudes that cause people to fail and what to do about it.
We Are Conditioned to Fail
We are surrounded by a twenty-four hour news cycle and it’s killing our internal mechanism for success. Motivation-inhibitors now rule just about every part of the American human psyche; everything from “I can’t” to “I’m too___” (Insert your own: fat, old, young, skinny, inexperienced etc.)
Recognize the side effects of conditioning. Catch yourself when using such phrases as “I can’t” or “I’m too old”, “too fat”, “too inexperienced”. These are thoughts which creep into our subconscious mind on a daily basis and they become the habits that dominate our daily experiences. Elevate your awareness. Don’t give in to your fears. Spend time in silence and watch your courage build. Paulo Coelho writes, There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.
We Focus Too Much on the ‘How’
Take a poll and ask one hundred people who wanted to start a business or who had actually taken the first step why they had been stymied in their dream and I guarantee you at least ninety percent of respondents will say they became discouraged with the ‘how’ of their desire. ‘How’ is cash on hand, capitalization, support of friends, knowledge of industry, zero bank account etc. ‘How’ has buried many a dream and caused not a few people to abandon their aspirations.
It is not your job to focus on the ‘how’; leave that to a power far greater than you. Turn your attention to the ‘what’ and the ‘why’. Once you figure out what you were born to do, the why will come into focus. Then you’ll determine that the how is moving toward you with breathtaking speed. The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity, writes Amelia Earhart.
We Expect Instant Results
When we have instant hopes we usually expect instant results. Sadly, this is rarely the case. Most people, according to statistics, fail in their start-up dreams within one to three years of launching. They run into cash shortages, extra bills and a dearth of resilience. The end comes quickly.
By perseverance the snail reached the ark, writes the venerable Charles Spurgeon. Such is the cure for the instant gratification we witness in our culture. Don’t fall into that trap. Plant the seed. Nurture it. Leave the earth undisturbed. Develop patience as the plant – financial freedom, promotion, relationship – sprouts into your wildest dreams.
A change in our attitude can result in a change in our circumstances.