What is failure?

In his quote, George Edward Woodbury states that “Defeat is not the worst of failures.  Not to have tried is the true failure.”  For many people who come to my office for treatment, the desire for change is expressed.  Often times, however, the  fear of failure becomes too great to make the firm commitment to change.  Hence there becomes an internal tug of war.  On one hand, they desire to have a better life.  On the other hand, there is the fear that change will bring them out of their comfort zone and into an area where there is an uncertain outcome. The results is a resistance that brings repetition of the same dysfunctional behavior.. They continue to tolerate the intolerable.

People fear that really trying will not guarantee a better life for themselves. They act as if the life they have is better than the life they could have. Though there are no guarantees, going forward and facing the posiblity of failure, provides the opportuntity for a better quality of life where none existed before.  Better to try and fail than to “play it safe” and not to have tried at all.  Who likes to look back with regrets for not taking advantage of those missed opportunities?

.  Facing those fears means taking those small steps toward achieving those small goals.  When the goals are small, they become less fearful and more likely to have a successful outcome. Those small successes, act like building blocks, moving the person toward their ultimate larger goal of a better quality of life.  Remember, true courage is not the absence of fear but going forth in spite of fearing the possible unknown results.