The Flag of Failure

by Jerome Shaw 11 days ago in advice

How words decide who we become

The Flag of Failure
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Have you ever told yourself that there were things that were really hard for you? Things you did not know how to do or thought that you couldn't? I once heard a quote that said, "Telling yourself you can't do something is like marching with a flag of failure." Is the person you think you are the person you see in the mirror? What are your thoughts on the one you see looking back at you?

You are not alone. I have ridden this rollercoaster many times, but it has not served me well. It's only given me a more limited belief in myself. Questioning the life I was destined or not destined to live. I finally realized one crucial thing: I have the will to make the choice to become great. The choice to be good at something or not. The choice to be average or exceptional. The choice to be ordinary or extraordinary.

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” ~Jimmy Johnson

If you tell yourself that you can't do something, it is like marching with a flag of failure. Too many of us listen to ourselves too much and don't speak to ourselves enough. Words have the power and the hold value that we give them. I used to tell myself over and over again that I couldn't do math. "Math is my worst subject." I said. I almost took pride in it. "I'm just not good at math. I'm not a math person. Other people are good at math, but not me."

I accepted this truth as self-evident. I accepted that I was just a person who would never be good with numbers. Then my mind filtered this and said, "I guess that's who Jerome is. That's who he says he is." And so I kept on marching with my flag of failure. Never questioning the person I had made myself to be. Never striving to be more than my perceived limitations.

The word FAIL is just an acronym. FAIL stands for: First Attempt In Learning. Can you imagine a world if Thomas Edison was afraid to fail? If he had let the fear of failure stop him from experimenting, would we ever have the light bulb today? If Nikola Tesla let the fear of failure stop him, would we have the concept of free energy today? If the Wright brothers let the fear of failure stop them, would we have air travel today?

Fail forward in spite of your fears my friend. That is what it means to have courage. For failure is not in the way, but on the way to success.

"There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible. And that is the fear of failure." ~Paulo Coehlo

Failure is not what makes your dream impossible, but the fear of it. Fear is in the future. It is a projected thought, a projected thing that has not yet occurred. Something that you are projecting outward. It is never in the present moment. Fear has no place in the now. If you tell yourself that you cannot do something, you are right. It's often hard to break through mental barriers that we create for ourselves. We can build mental cages, and be trapped in our own minds.

"Success is not final. Failure is not final. It is the courage to continue that counts." ~Winston Churchill

Courage in spite of fear. Bravery in spite of failure. These things are not final. These things all soon pass and may come again. But nothing is permanent. So success is not permanent and failure is not permanent. We need not fear failure. If you have struggled with this, why not try something new out in your life. Instead of saying you cannot do something, start to say, "how can I do this?"

Whenever you find yourself stating "I don't know how to do this," add the three letter word "yet" to the end. I don't know how to do this yet. I haven't figured this out yet. I'm not very good at this yet. Cancel out that statement, but affirm the possibilities, and affirm yourself. Affirm what you can achieve and accomplish. Affirm who you believe yourself to be and who you wish to become. You can be all you can be, but not if you march with the flag of failure. Put down fear, put down the flag, and go for your greatness!

Jerome Shaw
Jerome Shaw
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Jerome Shaw

I am a Blogger/Podcaster currently living in Los Angeles. All my life I've been inspired by others and I strive to be that for you. If I can spark even one person to become their greatest version, I know that one day you will do the same.

See all posts by Jerome Shaw