A common definition of failure would be: The condition or fact of not achieving one's desired end or ends. I think most of us would agree that one of the most potent fears that we possess in our minds is fear of failure. There is so much judgment instilled in our programming regarding this simple human concept. So much so, that we often do not dare to take the risk to live our lives boldly, audaciously and differently. Such a little thing – a human concept – a thought form, but enough to have us living lives of mediocrity, limitation and boredom.

For me, at least, there is no such thing as failure. If I act boldly, if I reach out into the unknown and things do not meet my expectations, if they do not turn out the way I wish, I can learn from my actions and take different ones in the future. I can redefine my desires and have the opportunity to assess what I am asking for from life – I get to see if what I desire is aligning with the will of the universe or not and shift my direction at any time. So tell me, how is that failure? To me that is opportunity!

I was recently listening to the wonderful commencement address that JR Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, gave at Harvard University. (I encourage you to listen to her speech and I have included a link at the end of this article.) JR says: “I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

JR has an interesting take on “failure” and although I do not believe in failure as a concept as we currently define it with all its fear and judgment, we can see what she personally means by that term. For her, to not succeed at something is an invitation to reassess, redirect, and go forth and create one's heart's desire. People who come from this point of view always have gratitude about their “failures” rather than self-doubt and self-judgment. If she had a decent, acceptable job and was getting by, would she have reached out to create something more? Who knows? But life forced her to become something greater than she could imagine and to reach for the stars. And that is true magic and sorcery!

So I ask you this: Are you going to allow your perceived failures to bring you to a place of self-doubt and victimization, or are you going to allow your perceived failures to set you free? It’s your choice. http://harvardmagazine.com/go/jkrowling.html

Author's Bio: 

Sheri Rosenthal DPM is a master Toltec teacher and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Toltec Wisdom and Banish Mind Spam!. Having trained with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements®, she currently takes students on spiritual journeys www.journeysofthespirit.com works with personal apprentices and enjoys being extremely happy. You can reach her at info@sherirosenthal.com or sherirosenthal.com and withforgiveness.com