I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
Here are a few things about the wise man that said those words, Thomas A. Edison:
- He invented the phonograph
- He invented the movie camera
- He invented the incandescent light bulb
- He held a world record of 1093 patents for inventions
The guy who invented the light bulb said that he found 10,000 ways that didn’t work instead of saying that he failed 10,000 times. Talk about the eternal optimist.
What we say to ourselves determines everything. Our mood. Our attitude. Our perspective. Our success. Our failure. Whether you know you’ll succeed, or know you’ll fail, you’re completely right. You get to choose.
There are two kinds of beliefs that we can form about ourselves: Limiting Beliefs and Empowering Beliefs. Limiting Beliefs break you down and make you believe the lie that you can’t achieve your goal. They tell you that you’re not good enough, you don’t have the means, or you’re undeserving. Those beliefs are rooted in fear.
Empowering Beliefs do the opposite. They build your confidence and encourage you to take the risk and believe for a successful outcome. They tell you that, regardless of circumstance, you are capable of succeeding. Believing positively about yourself empowers you to keep striving toward your goal without limiting yourself with negativity. Empowering beliefs give you the confidence to persevere through rough patches.
We all deal with the back-and-forth battle of Limiting Beliefs and Empowering Beliefs. So, how can we win the battle? Instead of feeding your fear and negativity, shut those thoughts down with an emphatic declaration that you will give your best effort to succeed. Replace a Limiting Belief with an Empowering Belief.
Here’s what that looks like:
I don’t deserve success.
I’m nobody special and I’m not an expert.
If I try that I’ll probably fail and look stupid.
If I am more successful than my parents they won’t love me anymore.
I don’t have enough money to do that.
I’m not 100% sure that I am heading in the right direction.
I’m too old to “start over.”
I should be content with what I have, instead of focusing on what I don’t.[/one-half-first][one-half]EMPOWERING BELIEFS
I add intrinsic value to the world.
I may not be an “expert” yet, but I will be someday.
I can use my failures as a learning experience.
I can’t wait to make my parents proud by showing them everything I can do!
Money doesn’t hold me back.
Moving in the wrong direction is better than being paralyzed by fear and going nowhere.
Because I’m older I have the benefit of experience.
People who are truly happy don’t put limits on their dreams.
How much easier is it to give into fear? It doesn’t take any effort at all. Saying “no” means that you don’t have to try. You don’t have to be nervous or uncertain. You don’t have to do anything at all. But giving into the fear also eliminates your chance of success. Fear is inevitable, but pushing through that fear is the first step in reaching success. And we all know the famous saying, “You never know until you try.”
Trying something new is the same feeling as walking into a dark room. You’re not sure what’s in front of you. You’re not sure if you’re going to trip. You’re not sure if you’re going to run into a wall. You’re just not sure.
What’s wrong with running into a wall every now and then? It doesn’t hurt all that bad, and it’s pretty easy to bounce back after you shake off the minor embarrassment. The best part is laughing about it later.
The same is true of failure. It’s not all that bad. You bounce back, and know that the wall is there so you don’t run into it again.
[Tweet “What failure teaches you is what doesn’t work so you don’t try that same approach again.”]
In your next attempt, you change a few things that didn’t work in the first. Any little failure brings you closer to success.
For example, there was once a business man who created a software that watched traffic tapes and processed the data. When he and his business partner tried to demonstrate it to potential buyers, the software wouldn’t work. After that, he was determined to find success in the software industry. A couple of years later, he created the first Microsoft product. That man is Bill Gates and he’s the richest man in the world. I’m pretty sure he laughs about his failed attempt at some traffic-reading software.
Everyone deals with fear, self-doubt, and limiting beliefs, even the most successful people in the world. What decides your future is what you choose to believe. Do you believe that you’ll fail? Do you believe you’ll succeed? You’re right.
Chandler Bolt is a serial entrepreneur but his most recent project focuses on giving back to others. He wrote the book Breaking Out of A Broken System with his brother Seth Bolt (from the band NEEDTOBREATHE). All the profits from the book go to charity and each one purchased saves someone’s life.