Monday Morning Mindset: Success or Failure? Neither? Either?


When I was thinking about this installment of MMM, I was not quite sure where I
wanted to begin. So I just started brainstorming. I knew “what” I wanted to say, and even some of the “how”; just not quite what the beginning would be; so here we are.

A common concept/theme we often are searching for is “success”. The opposite is
then looked at as having to be failure. I think that is just BS. Failure is for math tests. Will chat about this in a bit.

When I searched “success” the lead off is the definition of course; and I found this one specifically interesting.

The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
“there is a thin line between success and failure”

Then next up in my search: Synonyms of ‘success’ in American English
• luck.
• fame.
• fortune.
• happiness.
• prosperity.
• triumph.
Which also are quite interesting.

So failure. Is it the opposite of success? Failure is a label that we give to something
when we are attached to a result or outcome that has not yet been met. We place so much weight on failure (and success for that matter); and manipulate what it actually means. We tie it to our sense of self-worth, self-esteem, and self-acceptance. Failure is more simply the inability to meet an expectation. We internalize it, rather than taking a look at the bigger picture. Failure is a subjective concept, and its definition can vary from person to person and from situation to situation. What one person considers a failure, another might see as a valuable learning experience or a stepping stone toward success.

The perception of failure often depends on individual goals, expectations, and the
context in which an event or endeavor takes place. What may be a minor setback for one person could be a significant disappointment for another.

It’s important to remember that failure can be a source of growth, learning, and
resilience. Many successful individuals have faced failures along their paths and have used those experiences to adapt, improve, and ultimately achieve their goals.
Ultimately, how we perceive and respond to failure can have a profound impact on our personal and professional development. Embracing a mindset that views failure as an opportunity for growth and learning can lead to greater resilience and success in the long run.

So what happens if we change our definition of success? It could mean that we
haven’t actually failed after all? Maybe the purpose of our goals and actions actually has a completely different trajectory than expected? Failure is really just a subjective judgment that we prematurely place onto our results based on our own expectations or results.

It is often stated “failure is not the opposite of success; it’s a part of success.” The idea behind this statement is that failure is not something to be avoided or feared, but rather a natural and valuable part of the journey toward achieving success.

Consider these points:
• Learning Experience: Failure can provide valuable lessons and insights that
contribute to personal and professional growth.
• Persistence: Success often requires persistence and resilience in the face of
• Redefining Success: What may seem like failure in one context might lead to
success in another.
• Innovation: Failure can lead to new ideas and creative solutions.
• Motivation: It can drive individuals to work harder, set higher goals, and strive
for improvement.

In essence, the idea is that failure is not the end of the road but a stepping stone on the path to success. Embracing failure as a learning opportunity and maintaining a positive attitude can help individuals continue their journey toward achieving their goals.

Personally, the word failure, I have always struggled with. Frankly, add success to that list too! Everything from procrastination, modifying the goal, to creating obstacles and delaying success, or the “end” of something (just in case of failure!) Even the feeling of rejection, self-pity, embarrassment, and more before the “failure” even happens!

Over time, the best success I have had, is the true understanding that new goals
require new habits. Follow me as I apply some of this with some goals coming soon!

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Terri was not an athlete growing up. Maybe a bit “athletic” and definitely awkward. Now she is not only a runner and triathlete, but a Coach (running + triathlon) as well! She has been a part of the Chicago “sport” community for over 25 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist and Movement Specialist. Terri runs her own business, Urban Wellness Chicago in the wicker Park neighborhood; and also works with the Northwestern University Athletic Department. She does now consider herself an athlete, and regularly competes in races of multiple distances. Oh and yes, still a bit awkward! Terri is also a Certified Life & Happiness Coach with her own business All You Coaching; with additional focus on performance, life transitions, confidence, and mindset.


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