One of the most important aspects of personal growth is the idea that success always leaves clues. When people talk about their success it is often in terms of how lucky they were, or they just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I have found from my years of working with people that they don’t often think about the role they played in achieving that success.
Just last week I was talking to my daughter-in-law about a big opportunity that had come her way, one she could never have imagined for herself. She also talked about being lucky, being in the right place at the right time, and knowing a few key people. However, she told me how this had come about it was evident that she had done action steps that put her in a position where this was a possibility.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is a lot to say about the synchronicity of how things come about: It just does not happen out of the blue, it happens because you have put yourself out there. Maybe you have taken a risk to do something that is out of your comfort zone or maybe you have been courageous in how you decided to take action or changed your attitude from negative to positive. You somehow have put yourself in a position where you are open and ready to receive whatever the universe brings to you.
If you look back on something that you thought was just a “lucky fluke” I bet, you can see that you had done something to put yourself out there. My daughter in law that was courageously taking a chance on presenting at a conference. If she had not done that, the wonderful new opportunity would never have presented itself.
Since success indeed leaves clues, it is also true that failure also leaves clues. This is a little different and more damaging to our self-esteem. In this scenario, we blame ourselves for some shortcomings that we think we have. If we didn’t have this flaw, we would have succeeded. Instead of looking at failure as some form of “not being good enough” it is far more beneficial to let it be okay to fail because it provides such great information.
When we believe we are at fault we just keep trying harder to make it work. The harder we try, the more we don’t succeed. When failure can be seen from the point of view that something did not work as planned, then looking at what went wrong, changing it, or deciding to do something different leads us closer to what we desire.
Have you ever seen someone make the mistake repeatedly whether it is in business or their personal life? I am very focused on the idea that if you want to change something in your life, you need to think and act differently. However, that is not always as easy as it sounds. Each of us has a lot of negative thoughts and emotions that get in the way. If we don’t take the time to get a handle on our mental clutter, we keep looking at life through the same lenses.
The most important thing that I like people to realize is that with every thought you think and every action you take, you are creating your life. And with every choice, you are either making your life bigger or shrinking it. We all have times when we do that but so often we do it unconsciously and we are living a limited life.
I have had the opportunity to study people’s choices for many decades and the accumulation of these choices and it is clear to see how it has affected people’s lives either positively or negatively.
We have this idea that we have very little control over our lives and life happens as it does. This can be a life-limiting belief and what would happen if we challenged that thought? Life situations happen to us that we have no control over but we always can control how we react to them, and deciding our next choices is how we will continue to move forward and be resilient to what life brings us. My question in any situation is: what can I learn from this. This is a crucial question of whether you are learning from your success or your failure.
I understand that I am standing on the outside observing what I see in people. This unique perspective helps me to make observations that a persona can’t see for themselves. Beginning to question what we do and why will open the perspective to be able to see things in a new way.
One way to do this is to have someone who you can talk to that will give you honest feedback. The other way is to realize there are always two or more right answers to a problem. So instead of doing what you have always done, consider there might be another way that would be better.
Remember, we have way more power and choice in our lives than we use. Begin to imagine if you exercised your power of choice of thoughts and actions regularly, how might the quality of your life be different? Knowing success leaves clues, what if you purposefully set yourself up for success in your thoughts in actions? What if you decided that you were going to learn from your mistakes and do something different…what then?