We live in a society that pressures us to succeed in life – as if success was a task we could learn from a textbook. This pressure increases as we enter our twenties because high school life is pretty much over and our circle of friends and family are expecting something “great” from us. It can be very disappointing when plans don’t turn out the way you want them to, and you start noticing a pattern of failures in your life. Relax, you are not the only one, we all go through something like that, or at least some people face more challenges than others. If you see a déjà vu of failures repeating in your life, you should feel thankful because failure will help you succeed.
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” - Denis Waitley
Truth is, our twenties are the best time, not only to fail and make mistakes but to experiment and challenge ourselves to not fear the consequences of failure. Why? Because as we grow older we accumulate a number of lessons that can only be taught through failing.
“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” - Ellen DeGeneres
Another success story of a talented woman, who overcame many challenges while being young, is Oprah Winfrey. The business woman, billionaire, and leader of a communications empire, is now a role model to many women in the world. Winfrey’s success didn’t start out of pure luck, like Lawrence’s. She had to beat many odds in order to be get to where she is. If she had given up during her youth, she wouldn’t had become the successful icon she is today.
Winfrey’s life story was difficult since the very beginning. She was the daughter of a low income teenager. Her cousin, uncle, and family fried, abused her when she was only nine years old. At the age of 14, she got pregnant and her son died shortly after he was born. It wasn’t until she moved with her father in Vernon, Tennessee, that she was able to enroll in college with a full scholarship ride. After graduating in Communications, Winfrey was able to land a job at a local news station but her employer fired her because she was “unfit for television.” This didn’t stop the talented TV star to seek out her opportunity. Winfrey failed many times but she persisted and when she was barely entering her thirties, she was given her own show: The Oprah Winfrey Show.
What we can learn from Winfrey's legacy and many other successful leaders, is that nothing can be achieved as easy as we imagine it to be. Mark Zuckerberg almost lost Facebook after being sued by his Harvard colleagues. Katy Perry was dropped by three record companies before becoming an international Pop star. Arianna Huffington’s second book got rejected by 36 publishers. I could go on. Failure can create an unconscious tendency of self-sabotage. If you are in your twenties and you're thinking your life is in a pathway to fail in life, you need to redirect your attention towards changing your mentality. There are no successful people in this world. There are only persistent fighters whose failures have forged them to become the leaders they are now.
Images by: @faintflicker
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