Everyone has the power to be great and to be successful. So often, though, many people allow failure to push them off course and away from their destiny. Failure, you see, is the bully of success. It will beat you down by any means necessary. Never allow the fear of failure to steal your destiny! Reflect on this; if you decide right now that you will maximize your full potential, what will happen? What hidden gifts and talents are just waiting to be released and shared with others to impact the world?
Undoubtedly, we are facing tough times right now. The unemployment rate currently stands at 11.1%, based on the June Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Major businesses and retailers have announced closures and filed for bankruptcy. This unrelenting global pandemic requires a change in our lifestyles and forces us to adapt to an unwelcome change in the way we work and interact with family and friends. Indeed, these are trying times for all of us. As we face many challenges and trials right now, it can be easy to put your goals on hold, shelve your destiny, and rationalize that failures you face are signals to give up on your dreams. If ever, there was a time to get up from that fall and fight for your destiny, overcome obstacles, and succeed despite the challenges; it is now!
Denzel Washington is a highly successful actor, director, and producer. He is the recipient of two Golden Globes, a Tony Award and is a two-time Academy Award winner. In his passionate and inspirational commencement speech at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, Denzel spoke about his courage to take risks and his faith to move forward after a fall. He shared his journey to success and the failures that came with that success! The difference though is that Denzel never gave up; he pushed past every obstacle, rose from every fall with the faith in his ability to succeed.
Success is not a spectator sport. It embraces those who are willing to overcome every obstacle to reach their goals. In his speech, Denzel encourages the graduates to “fall forward” and never give up. I encourage you to embrace these words of wisdom and seize your power to succeed. I can relate to these words of encouragement because I have known many failures also. As experience has taught me, the difference is in the decision to rise from failure to failure until it releases your success! An anonymous person once said, “You should never let success get to your head; Never let failure get to your heart.” Although this quote was anonymous, the wisdom of these words is undeniable. The time to work toward your goals is rarely convenient and often comes at inconvenient times. Let faith be your lighthouse as you push forward to your goals! As you navigate to your success, follow these seven crucial actions:
Take it One Day at a Time
So often we miss our opportunities for success because we are impatient. We want what we want, and, like a child, we want it now! Often, our impatience leads to poor choices and decisions; and, often, failure results. Take the time to explore and fully develop your success vision. Explore your unique gifts, talents, and skills? How will these competencies help you achieve your goals?
Know Your Destination – Map Out a Course
This action may seem obvious, but it is incredible how often people embark on their life’s journey without fully understanding their destined purpose. Over the years, many people have told me they never intended to spend their lives in a particular career or industry. Surprisingly, twenty years have gone by, and they find themselves weary with the frustration of an unrewarding job. Take the time to plan; develop a life map to give you clarity and focus as you navigate uncharted waters. You can successfully achieve your goals; despite the mishaps and failures that will surely come.
Develop a Success Crew
If anyone tells you, they achieved success without the help of anyone, feel free to have a good laugh at their joke. Take steps to develop a robust network of supporters to inspire, motivate, and enable your success. Your Success Crew should include role models whom you respect and trust; spiritual, professional, and industry-specific experts. Include experienced, successful mentors in your career field or industry and a talented career and life coach to help guide you through rough seas and on to your destination.
Guard against negative Faith Shakers
To achieve success, stay focused, and be on guard for Faith Shakers. Faith Shakers are words that provoke fear, dread, indecision, and paralyzing doubt to get you to give up on your dreams and purpose in life. Faith Shakers come disguised as friends, colleagues, and family members, who often are not trying to cause harm but speak from their fears or wish to protect those they love. Perhaps, the toughest of all the Faith Shakers is our own, unconscious fears. Keep your guard up and listen for the following warning signs:
- “Can’t, Won’t, Never” – “You can’t get a degree at your age, why waste your time and put yourself through the disappointment?” “You won’t get that promotion, so there is no need to apply.” “You will never succeed; you fail every time you try.”
- “Come on, everyone else is doing it” – Stand firm on your beliefs, morals, and standards. Do not allow others to lead you away from your destiny and get you off course. Blaze your trail. As Emerson famously quotes, “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
- “I Don’t Care,” “It Doesn’t Matter” – Carefully examine these words as often they come after a failure or a series of failures, to get you to surrender your dreams. Fall forward to success. Believe in your power to be great. You can succeed!
Build your success on a strong foundation of networks
Do not limit yourself to the same circle of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Expand the boundaries of your current network and get to know people in different professions, industries, and businesses who may support your success. Networking can be a powerful foundation- building tool, but only effective if used.
Be prepared for trials and temptations
We often hear that, if success were easy, everyone would achieve it. Success will come, but not without commitment and endurance. I love the saying that “the road to success is full of potholes.” The road to success will come with trials and temptations; job loss, financial and health challenges, and temptations designed to distract you. Prepare now and be ready to hold fast to your faith in God’s promise that you can and will succeed despite the odds. Exercise your faith muscles daily and believe in your ability to succeed. Be willing to fall forward for success!
Don’t allow obstacles to impede your success – embrace change
On life’s journey, we will sometimes face barriers that hinder the progress of our goals. Sure, it may be easier to give up and say, “Oh well, I tried!”. Resist the urge to give in to failure; embrace change instead. Course correct and plot a new route to reach your destiny and fall forward to success.
Everyone has the power to be great and to be successful. This destination can include you. Do not be content to be a spectator…get in the game! Success is victory over the battle of failure. You will triumph, if you never give up. So, fall forward for success and embrace your power to be great!