“The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.”
– Robert H Schuller

Have you ever wondered how some people are able to overcome incredible adversity, while others remain stuck, defeated, and struggling to handle failure?

There is a common thread between the “rags to riches” and underdog stories of victory.

What’s the common thread?

–         A resilient spirit and ability to bounce back from failure.
–         A determination to learn and get better instead of getting bitter.

A resilient person is tough, they don’t give up and they find ways to get through the obstacles they face.

Whatever you are going through, you have the option of whether to give up and give in, or to push through the pain and difficulty.

If you don’t have the grit and resiliency you would like, it is because your “thoughts” are leaving you filled with resistance, fear, judgment, or doubt.

Notice what keeps you from persevering and staying committed to your dreams. It’s your thoughts, isn’t it?

Fortunately you can learn to think in ways that help you persevere and never give up!

It’s time to think more optimistically, focus on learning and growth, and look for opportunity instead of problems.

It’s time to stop the failure thinking, and start thinking and living like a winner.

Here are some thoughts to avoid so you can transcend the hell out of failure.

1. “I already know everything I need to know.”

Often the most stubborn people struggle with failure and setbacks. When we assume we already know everything there is to know it makes it difficult to understand why we aren’t succeeding.

How to reframe: People are always learning. If something isn’t working for me, there is probably another way to look at things. I am constantly learning each and every day.

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few. ” ― Shunryu Suzuki

2. “I don’t need help from anyone. I can do this on my own.”

When we are unwilling to seek out and accept the help of others we are basically deciding to learn the hard way. We all need help from others, whether it’s emotional support or actual resources. No one made it to the top without the help of others.

How to reframe: It is okay to ask for and accept help from others. It is actually more courageous to seek help than to deny I have a problem. Getting assistance from others is a necessary step in reaching my potential.

3. “I should always be in control.”

If there is one thing constant in life it’s change. There are many things out of our control and learning to accept what we cannot change is pivotal in overcoming life’s obstacles. Learning to let go allows us to live with greater peace of mind.

How to reframe: I am adaptable and able to change along with my circumstances. I will focus on what I can control and accept what I cannot change.

4. “If I fail it means I’m a failure.”

There is a big difference between making a mistake and failing to reach a desired outcome, and actually viewing ourselves as a “failure.” We will fail but that is a part of the process. Who we are doesn’t change because of our mistakes.

How to reframe: I may not like to fail but it is inevitable and I can find the silver lining. When I fail, I will learn what I can do different next time. I will use failure as my teacher.

“Don’t be afraid of missing opportunities. Behind every failure is an opportunity somebody wishes they had missed.” – Lily Tomlin

5. “I’m not smart enough, old enough, rich enough… (You fill in the excuse).”

There could be countless reasons why you’re not ready or prepared to achieve your goals. Notice your excuses. Determine what limiting beliefs are holding you back and realize the lies you are telling yourself.

Reframe: I may not have the ideal circumstances but I will use what I have and be the best I can be. I will stop making excuses and following beliefs that don’t serve me.

6. “I’ll never get over this problem.”

This is a classic pessimistic interpretation. If we believe things will never get better we won’t be very motivated to work through problems. No problem lasts forever unless we make it a problem for forever.

Reframe: No problem is permanent. I can deal with whatever I am facing. It may not be easy but I know that all problems pass with time.

7. “My circumstances won’t allow me to do that.”

Many times we blame our environment on our failure. We use our job or boss as the reason we can’t get ahead. We even go as far as to blame society for our own issues. Talk about giving away accountability and power.

Reframe: I am the co-creator of my life. My circumstances do not define me. I will take action and create the circumstances I desire. No more letting my external world determine my state of mind.

8. “I have never been the type of person to do that.”

It is easy to base what we are capable of doing in the future on what we have done in the past. If I have failed at something over and over again, it is easy to assume I’m not meant to do it. It is a fact that learning anything requires practice and with enough practice we can do just about anything.

Reframe: I will let go of my past identity. Just because I haven’t accomplished my goals doesn’t mean I never can. The past is in the past, and I will take the necessary steps to mold my skills, talents, and traits.

9. “I not good at dealing with stress.”

We can all learn to manage stress more effectively. Frankly the more stress we deal with effectively the more natural it becomes. We can all learn new ways of thinking and behaving to help us handle stress, and ultimately build up a stress tolerance.

Reframe: Stress is normal and healthy as long I learn to cope with it. Stress exists to communicate what my needs are. I will listen to my stress and find a healthy way to cope with it.

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby

10. “What will other people think of me?”

Worrying about what other people think of us is part of the human experience. We tend to want people to like us and approve of what we do. However, this is also a trap because we may sabotage our own wellbeing and success if it means someone else will give us approval.

Reframe: Other people are more worried about themselves they are about me. I need to focus on what I think of what I do. I will follow my truth despite disproval from others. I will live with integrity.

Start paying attention to your thinking. Notice your failure thoughts and begin to reframe these thoughts to help you manage setbacks and obstacles.

Photo by martinak15

Joe Wilner

Joe Wilner

Joe Wilner is life-transition coach and writes at Shake off the Grind where he helps people thrive when they’re up and survive when they’re down. He is also the creator of the Becoming Unstoppable. A twelve week ecourse to help you overcome and achieve anything.
Joe Wilner

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