Your Belief System

Your belief system creates your reality. Now that is quite a mouthful and you may need to read it several times to understand its importance and far-ranging consequences. First, what is your reality? It is how you see the world from the point of view of your beliefs. Your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between internal and external ‘reality’. Internal reality is made up of our thoughts and external reality is the evidence of our five senses (touch, sight, smell, taste and hearing). That explains why our belief systems have such an influence on our lives and why it is important to recognise the power of our thoughts.

The distinction between a fact and our attitude towards that fact is our belief system. It is the single most important influence we have and our beliefs are so remarkably powerful that they control the direction and destiny of our lives. No belief is right or wrong – it is either empowering or limiting; however, our beliefs become habits and we all know how difficult it is to change a habit. Once the limiting beliefs and habits have been identified and acknowledged it will be easier to change a particular behaviour pattern. Knowing this should stimulate us to be the master of our thoughts and beliefs and not a servant to them. Unfortunately, sometimes emotions get in the way and they are a major cause of limiting beliefs.

I am explaining our belief systems because how you see your reality and what you believe about yourself and about others will determine how you handle life’s difficulties.

Limiting beliefs can trap people in a revolving door of hardship and fatalism where their concentration is on the negative things of life and the feeling that they were meant to struggle and the ‘good life’ is only for “other people”. They sit around with their friends and agree that life is unfair. They don’t believe they can get jobs that would take them up the ladder of success and if they find they have spare money, they spend it.

When disappointments or crises arise a limiting belief system will see to it that no matter how hard you work or how much effort you put in, you will always be severely limited in your achievements. It will tell you that you will be unable to cope with the situation, that you have failed or life is not worth living. You think about your problems incessantly and your emotions may swing like a pendulum from anger to feeling sorry for yourself as you see no way out. Negative emotions will control your thoughts and while that is the case you will not be able to think clearly about finding a solution to your situation. When your mind is in this realm your reality becomes clouded.

An empowering belief system, on the other hand, will certainly feel the pain or the disappointment but that person will control their thoughts and remain expectant that something good will happen because they know the time will pass and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. They will “pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and start all over again” as the song says. Empowering beliefs allow us to keep our mind clear so a solution can be found and it allows us to seek help if that is necessary. If the crisis is a death in the family, it is the knowing that “this too shall pass” and that life must continue.

How Do You Think?

Thought is the reasoning of the mind and our power to think is almost unlimited. When concentrated meaningfully on a subject our thought power can solve any problem. Thoughts must, however, be properly harnessed and controlled so that we can train our mind in such a way that we are able to convert the most caustic thoughts to those that are complimentary, kind and agreeable and which help us live peacefully. We have the choice to think whatever we wish but the results of our thoughts will culminate in some kind of action. If thoughts are negative, inconsistent and reactive, the results will be destructive. If thoughts are positive, affirmative and creative the results will be constructive and strong. It is important to understand that weak, negative, reactive thoughts can never bring about positive growth or creative activity and they will never allow us to climb out of the valleys in our lives. So learn to control your thoughts to create beneficial mental habits that will blossom into action and create the conditions you are seeking. If you cannot take action to solve your problems you need to change the way you think about them. Only by controlling your thoughts can you develop a positively expectant and creative state of mind that is flexible and open and that will be a magnet for good things to be attracted to you.

Remember those words, “positive growth” and “creative activity” for they are important to you as you face life. “Positive growth” comes from being prepared to look forward with expectancy and to make constructive changes where necessary. It is when optimism comes to the fore and you expect the best to happen. Positive mental growth does not happen immediately. It is a process of learning to listen to your own thoughts and it encompasses an understanding of your belief system. Every rough patch of life is seen as a learning experience and a little growth is added each time the rough patches occurs.

“Creative activity” means opening your mind to new ways of thinking, stimulating your imagination and being flexible in your outlook so you can maximise your ability to develop your thoughts. When you think creatively you expand your thought patterns which bring you to an optimal state of mind for generating new ideas. What does all that mean? It means that if you keep your mind positively active you will be able to maintain a “So what” attitude whenever you have a valley experience.

You Have A Difficult Relationship With Your Spouse

We often enter marriage with stars in our eyes about the institution of marriage and our prospective partner putting them on a pedestal that will become shakier as we live together and get to know them better. Society fills us with unreasonable expectations. We expect, for example, that once we are married we will live ‘happily ever after’ and our life will be filled only with good things and happiness because our partner will make it all happen. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are all less than perfect and everyone, male and female, has their own idiosyncrasies and their own baggage and ingrained belief systems which they bring to the marriage. These things may not have been noticed before marriage because each of you was concentrating only on the good side and positives in each other. You were kind and thoughtful and respectful of each other’s needs.

Do you really think that you can be compatible with your partner in every facet of your life together? If so, you have unrealistic expectations. On the other hand, don’t assume you are incompatible just because you can’t agree on everything. Everyone has a different upbringing; you may come from different communities, even different countries, and your belief systems will reflect that. Although it may seem obvious, men and women think and act differently. When a husband comes home from work, the wife may want to discuss at length the day’s happenings. Men, on the other hand don’t usually say much about their problems. So understanding is necessary and in this instance the wife may need to be quiet for a while and allow time for her husband to relax. He will share when he is ready.

There are many other pressures which add to the difficulties in marriage such as financial stresses and time constraints as well as changing expectations in a rapidly shifting social culture. More than ever before, romance is not enough to build a strong, stable and mutually happy marriage; it takes commitment and hard work and a preparedness to take responsibility for each other’s needs. Many couples are completely unprepared to deal with marriage pressures and have no idea why problems emerge. They become disappointed and overwhelmed by the differences that arise and lose trust in themselves and their mate.

There will be marriage difficulties and they will usually come from a difference of opinion. The smallest things can cause irritation such as a preference for different toothpaste or the way the toilet paper is put on the roll. Perhaps one partner likes everything in its place and hates the fact that the other partner leaves their clothes on the floor. All these small matters need to be talked about and an understanding reached that leaves both of you happy.

Too often, however, one or other partner lets these little things build up inside until another small difference of opinion tips them over the edge and they begin arguing. Soon the relationship becomes more and more difficult and openly discussing the matters that cause irritations becomes less and less possible and a very difficult relationship has begun unless both are prepared to step down from their high egodriven horse and communicate with each other.

It is important to accept that all marriages have problems at various times and it is easier to deal with these problems as soon as you become aware of them for they form part of the fabric of two lives becoming one. Unresolved anger or other personal issues should not be allowed to fester for they will grow in your mind and will eventually erode your marriage. Don’t let differences come between you; rather, discuss them openly and you will probably find they were petty and not worth worrying about. Perceptions can be dangerously wrong and you can get what you perceive. You may, therefore, have to challenge your thoughts. Remember, a vulture looks for dead things and a hummingbird looks for life – and they both find what they are looking for! Difficulties are a normal phase in a marriage and the sooner they are talked over and a solution found, the sooner you will both grow into a solid and happy life together. Marriage is never an easy option; it is for those people who are willing to commit their life to being a ‘giver’ and to making a relationship work, no matter what.

Difficulties will grow out of all proportion if both parties blame each other for their problems. Blame and finger pointing will not solve difficulties they will only ignite arguments where each one wants the final say. This can lead to a yelling match and even physical fighting where you hurt more than just pride. By this time things are out of hand and both people would be quite irrational and emotional. Wherever there is an argument, both parties will always think they are right so no solution can be found in that area. At this stage both parties need to wait until their anger has subsided so they can think rationally and try to resolve the conflict. If the reason for the argument is petty, both of you should be able to let it go and get on with life.

Don’t allow pride to come between you and don’t always insist on having the final say; it can wreck a perfectly good marriage. Instead, put love first, calm down and try to see the other person’s point of view. The hardest word for people to say is “sorry”. Even if you still think you were right, be prepared to say “I am sorry”. Real love and an apology will pour balm on deep wounds. Even if the other person is taking longer to get over the argument, give them time and space and continue to love them.

Crises are unavoidable in marriage; they are all part of the expansions and contractions of life. It is how you handle each crisis that is important and that will depend on your attitude. Each crisis should be worked through step by step by two people working together, discussing what should be done and by putting solutions into action.

The first action to take is to pinpoint the problem so you know exactly what you are dealing with. When and how did your unhappiness begin? What was the cause?

Secondly, don’t blame the other person. If you think your mate is making you unhappy, take another look at your own attitude first. Perhaps you are making demands and have expectations which the other person cannot fulfil. Your happiness or unhappiness come from yourself and you may be the one who needs to make changes.

Thirdly, work on finding a solution to the problem. That means communicating with each other by listening to the other person as well as opening up about your concerns. Try to find common ground so that you can commit to take action and both work on the solution together. If the problem appears too big for both of you, then you should seek professional help. Remember to keep in mind that every crisis brings the opportunity for learning new things and for bringing positive personal growth.

A good marriage can be built up by spending quality time with each other without interruptions. Without meaning to, children can sometimes take precedence over your spouse. Although they are your responsibility as well, try to give priority to your partner. Interact during your quiet times together by talking about your lives, including the high times and the low times. Use these times to come closer to one another and bring warmth, love and respect into your relationship.

One of the most common difficulties that couples face is about finances. It is a sensitive area and financial problems, not always of your making, can creep up on you. The correct structuring of finances should be agreed to early in marriage so lay out everything before you and agree how money should be budgeted. It is also wise to agree on large items you wish to buy. For example when buying a lounge suite, you may have differing views on what to buy. Be prepared to forego the lounge suite you like and they hate and wait until you find something you both like. You will then have a home that reflects the tastes of both of you.

For a happy and fulfilled marriage, treat your partner as you did before you married and don’t make the mistake of taking each other for granted. Show the same consideration for each other that you would show to a friend or work colleague. You would not dare speak to them rudely just because you are irritable. You would be careful what you said and how you said it so you would not upset them. Your attitude should not change, therefore, when you walk into your home and close the door behind you. If you speak to your spouse in a disparaging manner you are taking advantage of the familiarity which is part of your intimate relationship. We all get annoyed at some time and say things we didn’t mean to those we hold most dear. Be prepared to immediately apologise and try to be more careful what you say in the future. Words reflect what is in your heart and if you really love someone you would not want to upset or hurt them. Instead be thoughtful and attentive to the person you love.

Complacency can be dangerous so make an effort to cultivate a good relationship. Marriage takes work and mental flexibility from both of you. It is a vibrant, living relationship of two separate individuals becoming one entity over time. The following points are worth remembering:
Make major decisions together. There will be much more harmony in the family if everyone feels they have a part in the decision-making process.

Show affection and appreciation to your spouse and be kind, gentle and loving. Never take them for granted but remember their good points and your reasons for marrying them in the first place.

Do not keep raising the problems that happened in the past. This often happens in arguments and only serves to inflame the situation.

Be prepared to admit your mistakes and if the other person makes mistakes, forgive them quickly.

Always communicate with each other. It is important to understand what the other person is thinking and feeling. This way you can deal with problems early and honestly.

Keep your expectations realistic. You are not part of a Hollywood film but flesh and blood individuals with strengths and weaknesses which need understanding and acceptance.

Keep trust, confidence and warm companionship in your relationship and you will keep your marriage secure.

A good marriage requires a “So what” attitude. You will have difficulties – “So what” everyone has difficulties. It is the way you handle those difficulties that will make a marriage fail or succeed. You can decide that you are always right and demand to have everything you own way, or you can treat your spouse the way you would like to be treated and work toward a marriage that is based on love and respect, kindness and thoughtfulness, understanding and forgiveness, patience and love. A marriage with all these ingredients will establish a strong emotional connection with each other and build a lasting and happy relationship.

Relationships

We must develop our emotional intelligence so that we can learn to strengthen our mind. It has nothing to do with pride but it has everything to do with a healthy mature love for oneself and an understanding of how special and unique we are. When we develop a positive self-image we open up new capabilities and new talents and we can literally turn failure into success. Emotional intelligence is being able to nurture our ability to recognise, evaluate and manage our own emotions and be able to handle our relationships with others in a mature and effective way. We can build our own emotional intelligence as we become more aware of how we think and as we learn to manage the use of our mind. When we do this we find it much easier to recognise what needs to be done to build solid, effective and reciprocal relationships.

The first building block to a good relationship, whether it is with your family, your friends or your work colleagues, is to understand and love yourself. If you can’t love yourself you can’t expect others to love you. That is because people always reflect back to us the way we treat them. If you criticise and find fault with others they will criticise and find fault with you; if you think life is against you, it is. If people are unfriendly to you, check your thinking; it may be the vibes you are sending out. Your inner world will always be reflected on the outside. When you are happy and confident in yourself (note I didn’t say ‘overconfident’) people will return the favour.

Albert Schweitzer once said, “The only ones among you who will be truly happy will be those who have sought and found how to serve.” Service is not surrendering your individuality so that you become someone else’s possession. It is, instead, simply the wanting to give of yourself because as you love yourself you love others. It is so important that you are prepared to serve others in your relationships and this is especially so in the home.

Staying Power

Life will constantly present you with obstacles and challenges to test whether you are serious about reaching your goals and objectives in life. Difficulties exist and everyone has pressures and problems that can make them want to give up. It takes staying power to overcome those difficulties. Strengthen your staying power by focusing on the goals you want to reach in life. The most successful people have learned to overcome obstacles that get in their way. They look for new solutions and refuse to give up. You can do that too.

There are going to be times when you feel your plans are not working out. Challenges and obstacles will loom in front of you on a regular basis. It is what you do when you are faced with these barriers that will determine your level of success. Never focus on the challenge; always focus on the solution.

William Penn Patrick said, “No person, idea or institution becomes great until great resistance has been encountered”. Resistance will come; welcome it. Perhaps the resistance will be in the form of challenges and obstacles in your way. Maybe it will be in the form of criticism or contempt. You can prepare yourself for challenges and adversity and become mentally tough; if you are prepared for the fact that resistance will be encountered you will be more able to handle it.

Staying power needs positive energy which is the capacity to be active. Anthony Robbins called it “the fuel of excellence”. You need energy to accomplish your purpose but it must be directed and channelled into specific areas such as overcoming unhelpful influences. When your energy is constructively directed toward a specific solution, difficulties have a way of dissipating.

Energy gives you mental alertness and purpose and allows you to give attention to detail. It is demonstrated through physical vitality and radiates purposeful activity.

Nothing will drain your energy from constructive action faster than negative emotions and when difficulties beset you on all sides, such emotions are hard to control. Anger is a common emotion which must be dealt with as it expends a great deal of energy into non-productive channels. There is a saying, “anger falls one letter short of danger” and like anxiety, fear and doubt, it will quickly drain your energy. Work on eliminating those emotions so you have increased energy available to stay the distance and detour around the challenge you are experiencing.

Failure In Business – Lost Life’s Earnings

An example of a crisis in your life could well be that you have lost your whole life’s earnings because your business failed. This can happen over a period of time or it can happen suddenly. The reasons can be myriad. Part of it may have been caused by mistakes you made and part may have been circumstances beyond your control.

Perhaps you had a retail store on the street and a large mall opened up a block away. What had been a busy thoroughfare now became deserted with little passing traffic.

What can you do? As we have discussed earlier, you have the choice of two paths before you. One path looks easy, it is wide and you can see that many people have travelled the path before you. The other path is not so wide and looks a little difficult to travel.

Yes, believe me, it is much easier to give up and feel sorry for yourself; take yourself to your bed and face the wall wallowing in self-pity. That is the path travelled by a large number of people because emotion takes over the thought process. Some people get angry and want to lash out at those around them, blaming everyone but themselves. Others see only the loss of money and homes and just want to give up and curl into a small ball, hoping it will all go away.

The owner of the store could blame others but, perhaps, that person made a mistake by not keeping an eye on what was going on in the community He could have done so by keeping in touch with the local council and getting updates on new subdivisions and land sales which may change the dynamics of the commercial sector. Another way of keeping in touch is listening to customers and their wants and requirements. The new mall would then not have been such a shock and the store owner could have sold or made changes which would have kept trade going. The crisis has arisen, however, and the owner with the right attitude will take responsibility for what has happened. That way he can put the failure behind him and set about turning that failure into a new success.

This is the time when you find out what strengths you really have deep down in your spirit. It is what you do in the hard times in your life that will determine what kind of person will come out at the other end of trouble. It is the time to find out what you are concentrating on; the loss of the business or working out a solution to minimise the impact. Perhaps you could see it as an opportunity for a different direction in business. Basically, it is important for you to realise you will be fine and though you are going through a stressful period as you adapt to new situations and circumstances, a better life can be just around the corner

Now is the time to make your choice and choose the right attitude. Are you going to say, “Why me? It is the end of the world”, make your life, and the lives of everyone around you miserable and make yourself ill and depressed; or will you take the other path and keep your sanity?

The path to take is the one that acknowledges that you have a financial loss, which may have been out of your control and begin thinking strategically about working out a solution for yourself. Believe in yourself and you will be able to start from scratch again. If you are feeling very alone, enlist the help of family and friends who believe in you and what you can achieve. Their advice may be valuable and help to keep your focus on the right track. Keep away from those who would criticise you and try to pull you down.

Think differently, say “So what” and use your mind in your favour by analysing where mistakes were made. Tell yourself you will not make the same mistakes again and use your mind to improve your existing situation. You could begin by taking a job and keeping yourself busy by making an effort to build up your finances again. Think, not only about how you can recover your loss, but also how you can profit from it.

Remain optimistic and determined and always keep your mind attuned to further possibilities in business – there are always opportunities if your mental antennae are up and searching and there are always people who are prepared to help you if you are prepared to help yourself. You will see nothing if you remain gloomy.

If you can accept what has happened and yet conceive in your mind that you are capable of achieving an outcome better than what you had before you will create a pattern for success. You can go from failure to success by approaching your challenge in a constructive fashion, focusing on the solution rather than being blinded by the problem.

Each time you overcome difficulties you build your self-esteem and as self-confidence grows you will find it easier to master new challenges.

Transform Your Public Speaking and Presentation Confidence With Zaffar Khan

Over his years in entrepreneurship, Zaffar Khan has discovered that having confidence in public speaking is vital. The right amount of confidence can quickly turn a good speech into a great one.

Unfortunately, not many people have natural confidence when it comes to speaking in front of audiences, and it is something that needs to be developed over time. At Zaffar Khan, we have helped many nervous speakers prepare for important speeches and presentations, and nerves are very common!

So how do you gain confidence when it comes to public speaking?

Practice

We know it sounds so cliched, but in this case, practice really does make perfect and creates progress. The more you get up and talk in front of a group of people, the more you will naturally develop your public speaking confidence.

Try and take every opportunity to give speeches and presentations, and soon talking in front of an audience will start to feel less nerve-wracking.

You’re Not Nervous: You’re Excited…

The nerves that come along with public speaking can be genuinely debilitating for some people. A great way to ease these nerves is to frame them as excitement. The fine line between nervousness and excitement can trick your brain into believing that you indeed are excited to give the speech at hand.

Instead of trying to calm your nerves (which may have the opposite effect), use them to your advantage. Anticipation is not always a bad thing!

Use The Three Audience Truths

Have you heard of the ‘three audience truths’? By repeating these sentences to yourself, you may find presenting a speech far easier. They include:

  • “This audience believes I am the expert.”
  • “They want me to succeed.”
  • “They don’t know what I’m going to say.”

Practice In Your Head

While going over your speech, again and again, can drive you crazy, it also assists you in remembering your address and delivering it in the way you intend to.

The first minute of your speech is crucial and should captivate your audience by using a funny story, witty comments or interesting facts. Practice the opening of your speech again and again until you can say it without even thinking about it.

Proper preparation will assist your confidence!

Drink Warm Water With Lemon

There is nothing worse than a dry mouth when presenting a speech. It can cause you to lose confidence and trip over your words. Drinking warm water with lemon clears the throat and helps with dry-mouth. Ensure you have a glass of lemon water close at hand during your speech or presentation.

Smile

A simple smile can give you the confidence you need to pull off a captivating presentation. Smiling has many proven advantages, such as relaxing the body and emitting endorphins, that calms nerves and gives a feeling of wellbeing. Smiling will also indicate to your audience that you are confident and enthusiastic.

Need help when it comes to public speaking? Get hold of Zaffar Khan today, and we can help you with your confidence and presentation skills! If you need speakers for your event, we can help you as well!

You Can Be An Overcomer

Success comes from having a passion, determination and love for what you are doing and when you light the fuse that ignites the power to achieve, no obstacle can stop you from arriving at your goal. If the habit of taking authority over your thoughts and emotions can become your natural state, your whole life will change.

There is a saying, “To be free in an age like ours one must be in a position of authority. That in itself would be enough to make me ambitious.” (Hannah Arendt). The first place you need to take authority is in your own mind, over your own thoughts. That will give you the inspiration, courage and power to act on your ideas and follow your dreams; that is ultimate freedom. Remember this, however:
“Always live your life with one more dream to fulfil. No matter how many of your dreams you have realised in the past, always have a dream to go. Because when you stop dreaming, life becomes a mundane existence.” (Sara Henderson)

Whatever you focus on and feel, that’s what you get. Become a “So what” person and embrace life. An affirmative attitude is a healthy habit that should be encouraged.

There are two great forces in this world which are very powerful. One is fear and the other is faith; and faith is stronger than fear. It puts steel into you, enough to give you power over any difficulties. Faith and fear are opposites. There are many words in the English language that have opposite meanings, for example, if I asked you the opposite of ‘up’ you would say ‘down’. The opposite of ‘hot’ is ‘cold’, the opposite of ‘yes’ is ‘no’. All these words explain opposing meanings. They are not only opposed to each other; they cannot exist together at the same time. You cannot face east if you are facing west. It is impossible because they are opposites. Worry is a type of fear and while you are worrying you are unable to have faith in yourself or what you are doing or what will happen in your life. Worry will tell you that noone cares about you, that you are facing your problems alone or that you have a bleak future. Sometimes problems seem so big it seems quite irresponsible not to worry about it. There may not be anything you can do about it but you feel you should at least be concerned.

While you are in faith you cannot worry so when you feel those worry thoughts about what might happen taking over your thought life, determine to put thoughts of faith and confidence in yourself in their place. Draw on the faith deep in your spirit and this will give you faith in yourself and those around you. Don’t give in to low spirits for storms of difficulty are limited in extent and they do pass. Don’t be discouraged, be an overcomer.

There is a quotation which says, “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid”. What are these mighty forces? They are the latent powers that we all possess; energy, skill, sound judgement, creative ideas; even physical strength and endurance in far greater measure than most of us realise.

As Winston Churchill said, “Success is being able to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”.

When you fail, look at that failure as the best thing that ever happened to you and see how you can profit from it.

You Want To Sell A Property And Everything Is Against You

You have been offered a handsome reward if you can sell a large property for a friend and since the property is quite beautiful and in a tourist paradise, you think you shouldn’t have any trouble selling it. The property has natural springs of water, beautiful scenery and wildlife and it is close to a safe beach.

What could go wrong? Well, it seems everything can go wrong. First the world economic crisis hits and even the most ambitious investors are reluctant to take an interest. No one is interested in buying property at such a time. After six months you have still not been able to interest anyone in the land and the property owner is very disappointed that nothing has happened.

“So what”; another three months goes by and the owner is now suggesting that you buy the property and you could on-sell it yourself. You cannot afford the millions that are required to do that but contracts are being prepared which they expect you to sign. You suggest a Call Option Deed which gives you the option to buy the property but without the obligation to buy. There is confusion about which contract should be signed and you are getting nowhere with the solicitors or the owner.

Suddenly you are in a very difficult position. You would love to sell the property because you need the money and you are prepared to keep trying to find a buyer but you cannot sign the contracts the owner requires of you and they won’t use the Call Option Deed that you require.

Time is moving on and you are becoming frustrated with the confusion and misunderstandings that keep occurring between you and both the owner and the solicitor. You know you can sell the property and they would get the price they require but they seem unable to see your side of the misunderstanding. What do you do? You need the money badly and you are prepared to work hard but no-one seems to appreciate that fact. You have the right to be angry and frustrated so do you throw your hands in the air and walk away from what could be a good deal for everyone? You could tell the owner and the solicitor off and walk away but then you have left a lack of trust and misunderstanding still in the air.

There is a need here to make sure your mindset is positive with a determination to keep hanging in there if you really think you can sell the property. Use your mind and investigate whether the real estate market is on the rise or whether it is falling. Is the climate right for those with money to invest in land and what does the future hold? If the real estate climate looks bleak it may be better for you to spend your time on something that will work for you in the short term. If you think, however, that the market is moving perhaps it would be well to keep trying. Stay aware of what is happening and use your negotiation skills by meeting the relevant people face to face and talking it through. You might find there has been a misunderstanding and contracts can be safely signed. If you work towards a win-win situation for all concerned and you are prepared to give value in both time and effort, success is sure to follow.

How To Handle Failure

Failure may well be part of your hardships and challenges. Be aware of that and be prepared to handle it. Nearly every successful person, whether in business or sport, will affirm they all had failures at some time in their career. If you want to be successful in life it is unwise to fear failure. Failure is part of success and there is an oft quoted line that says, “If you don’t fail it means you aren’t doing anything.” Success, then, is failure turned on its head.

Many people are afraid of failure but fear of failure is dangerous. If you let it dominate you it will cause you to do the one thing that inevitably guarantees failure and that’s not attempting anything at all. Fear of failure brings inaction and you cannot live life to the full if you don’t do anything. Like a stream that no longer flows, your fears can cause you to become sluggish and dull and eventually you will stagnate. How do you neutralise the fear of failure? You turn up your level of hope. Meditate, that is, think deeply about what you want until the picture is so clear on the inside of you that nothing can shift it out of you. That’s what hope is all about; it’s an inner image that’s bigger than you are. Take courage in both hands and continue moving and taking action toward your goal, whatever it might be. Don’t sit around waiting for someone else to produce your harvest, that won’t happen. It’s up to you to plant the seed and water it and then bring your dream to fruition. Should you experience failure in some aspect of your journey you have three options:
1. You can give up completely,
2. You can do nothing, or
3. You can ‘detour’ around the challenge.

Zig Ziglar said, “Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street” but that will depend on your frame of mind. When failure happens or mistakes occur, it is easy to say, “Why me? I’ve tried and failed so what is the point of trying again?” That is not the attitude of a winner, it is just self-pity which is quite destructive. The important thing is to recognise the potential danger of pessimistic feelings and attitudes that come from failing to achieve a particular objective and take practical, affirmative action to correct your course. You have only really failed if you accept defeat and stop trying.

When you encounter road-blocks along your way, change your direction but not your destination. If you want to continue on the road to success, just look for the detour; look for a different plan to help you around your difficulty. Even though you are, perhaps, following a road unknown to you, if you follow the signs put up by those who do know the road, you know you will remain on track. There will always be a way around your failure if only you are prepared to look for and follow the signs. There is a saying, “A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour”. Therefore, don’t allow mistakes to rob you of your self-esteem. If you let it, failure can undermine your attitude towards yourself and as a result, others will mirror that attitude back to you. Don’t attach your self-worth to the outcome of your actions. I repeat, because it is so important –


Don’t attach your self-worth to the outcome of your actions!

A failure merely means that you are making an effort and you have reached a blockage along the road. You can, instead, make failure a stepping-stone to success. There is incredible value to be found in the mistakes you make. You cannot grow without being prepared to risk something of yourself. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it and gain knowledge that would otherwise be unobtainable and unavailable to those who have never failed. This saying, “A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success” has helped many people on their way to success; so associate with those people who are happy to see you achieve your aims.

Inventors will tell you they fail most of the time. Edison had the right attitude when he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He did not give up; he continued to “think outside the box” and eventually found success. There are many people in the music and theatre industry who were proclaimed “an overnight success”. Most will say that their “overnight success” was twenty years or so in the making. The fans see only the success story; they don’t see the years of sweat and toil and the number of failures that lead up to that success. So don’t be afraid to press forward in your endeavours. Remember, however, what John F. Kennedy said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction”. So be clear about your purpose and know the direction you wish to take to your destination.