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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Success - Can You Commit and Still Fail?

Success and Personal Development books often describe how important it is to commit to a goal once chosen. Perhaps you have done that - and then failed to achieve the desired outcome. How to deal with the reality of failure is the subject of this article.

When I was at coaching school I recall one of my teleclass leaders asking a question along the lines of: "Is it possible to commit to something and still fail?"

My life experience so far suggest that it is not only possible but highly likely!

Maybe even desirable!

For example, many years ago I was committed to getting on a European Union sponsored 18 month language study program in Japan.

I did a lot of research and called in a lot of favours to get my company to sponsor me, and in fact got to the final selection interviews in Brussels.

I was ecstatic!

Then 4 weeks later I crashed and burned after learning I hadn't been selected.

I was sure that I was 100% committed to this goal!
So what went wrong?

Perhaps "something went right" is the appropriate response because, with persistence and patience, another path opened up.

And less than 2 years later I had negotiated a transfer to Japan in a full-time role with the same company - thus beginning my sojourn in this amazing country that has become my adopted home these past 13 years.

There are other similar examples in my life and what they have collectively taught me is that committing to a stretch goal can be a creative, stimulating roller coaster ride but with no guarantee of success - in fact, failure is very possible.

But fail forward!! Fail forward!

We just don't consciously know in advance how our major commitments and goals may work out for sure.

If I had direct knowledge back then of the self-coaching tools I know now - back when my happiness was so hung up on achieving specific goals, I would have used all of the following at some point:

1- Known that I was committed to going to Japan but not sure how.

2- Taken responsibility for the bits in my control and let the other chips fall where they may.

3- Trusted more and doubted less. ("this too will pass...")

4- Responded to failure with a "what's the lesson here?" approach.

5- Respected myself more for launching the dream rather than invalidating my efforts as "just not good enough".

6- Known that I acted in the truth of what I believed was best for my Family and myself.

7- Invented a Game for the number of people I had to speak to who could help me achieve my Japan-bound goal.

8- Taken action, however small, EVERY day on my dream, rather than in fits and starts, every few weeks or so!

May your commitments fail forward as successfully too!

Commit right now to creating incredible yet reachable goals in your life - my FREE 14-page report shows you how: Goal Setting Tools

M. McClure is a Japan-based e-coach and freedom business owner.


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