The feedback I’ve been receiving is, “Can’t have success without a few bumps in the road,”; “If it’s worth it to keep going, then learning to have failures is part of the game,”; “Take this as a lesson”; “This is all part of owning a business.”

FYI, none of these statements are helping! As I listen to this “feedback,” I have several reactions. First, I want to ask if they are reading from a motivational poster from the 90’s. Second, do they think that this kind of statement is helpful? Statements such as the ones above don’t offer understanding or support. Another example is when people apologize for hurting your feelings by saying, “I’m sorry for hurting your feelings. This is not how one sincerely atones for one’s actions.

Over the last six months, I have had several setbacks and roadblocks. I have significantly changed my thinking on how to launch a digital product. I have had to defend my ideas and reasoning about why I should continue practicing as a licensing therapist. I have had criticism from colleagues and friends about my grandiose ideas.

As I was thinking about writing this blog, I was debating the words “Failure” versus “Defeat.” These terms are related concepts, but they have distinct meanings and connotations:

  • Failure refers to the lack of success or the inability to achieve a desired goal or outcome.
  • Failure can be a temporary setback or a learning opportunity. It often involves making mistakes, experiencing setbacks, or failing to meet expectations.
  • Defeat, on the other hand, is a more emotionally charged term. It implies being overpowered, conquered, or experiencing a decisive loss. It often carries a sense of finality and giving up.
  • Defeat is not typically associated with learning or growth; it’s often seen as the end of an endeavor or the acceptance of failure without further attempts.

While failure can be seen as a setback, defeat suggests a more conclusive and often demoralizing outcome.

Oprah interviewed Jay-Z in January 2015, and I have always remembered his quote about failure. “You learn more in failure than you ever do in success.” I’m unsure why this quote has stuck with me all these years, but I have always remembered it. It has shown me that success, personal growth, and resilience are a continuum rather than a destination.

I have not been defeated!

I have had some failures!

"You learn more in failure than you ever do in success."

A concept I teach my clients about resilience is we will all veer off our path, whether that is weight loss, business endeavors, or relationship indiscretion, but being resilient is how quickly we can return to our path. Resilience is the conscious awareness that we have moved away from our baseline and are working our way back.

I have built up my resilience muscle in several areas of my life. I am reconfiguring and rebuilding my business model to be successful. It certainly feels like defeat, but I am DEFEATED. I am making the necessary changes to succeed, even if that means starting from scratch.

Ask yourself these questions: What failures have you overcome? What emotions came up while thinking about your failures? How were you able to persevere?

Did you notice your resilience muscle being flexed?

Notice that reframing your thoughts about certain events in life can shift your cognitive perception. That shift can affect your emotional perspective, as well.