Stop Expecting Failure

How many times have we not been surprised when something fails?

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Recently I was in a hotel in Orlando, not really “watching” television, but it was on in the background. Along came a commercial for inventors. It was a company that you could send your invention to, and they would try launching it for you. It went on to talk about a guy who invented a drive-through “car wash” water sprinkler that allowed the child to ride under on their little tricycle or Big Wheels and subsequently get wet and have fun! Apparently this invention was then bought by Wham-O, a name we all know from the toy industry, and the inventor financially benefited from his invention. Great success story, and very motivating!

Then, as the commercial is finishing up, I hear the announcer say in a low voice, “Results are not typical; most inventions do not succeed.” Seriously, that’s what he said! What a downer! I mean really, you psych up the inventor with this awesome success story, but have to qualify it with the fact that most inventions are losers! Heaven forbid that the viewer get just a little excited about the possibility of success! I just couldn’t help but burst out laughing at the irony of it all.

Then I began wondering, how many times do we do this in “real life,” when we try to accomplish something or watch someone else in pursuit of success, only to see failure…and then we’re not all that surprised when it happens? 

For yourself, this may relate to a big step in your career, say taking the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) or Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) exam. You work really hard studying, but too often give in to that little voice in your head that whispers, “You’re gonna fail; you’re not going to pass.” Self-talk is dangerous; it’s very difficult to shush up this little inner voice. When you hear it inside your head, do you try to squash the negative talk by responded, “Oh no, you’re wrong, I am going to pass!” And if you’re not responding with a positive statement, why not? Most often it’s because if we do fail, we don’t want to be too surprised, too let down, too crushed, so we believe our negative thinking might prepare us better or cushion the blow in the end. Yet our thoughts are our reality, and if we can’t control the negative talk and aim for success, then why should the universe reward us with success?

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When it comes to other people, this is often the doing of a senior employee or peer, or unfortunately a manager or supervisor. We assign a task, or mention a job, and sit back and wait to see what happens, half expecting the person assigned the task to fail. This becomes apparent when we hear these kinds of thoughts whisper in our heads, “Yeah, I knew she couldn’t do that right” or “Of course, if I want something done right, I have to do it myself,” or “Geez, why did I ever think that person could get this done!” Now the negative talk in your head is bashing someone other than yourself, but you’re still just as guilty. If you only expect mediocrity from others, that’s what they’ll deliver.

What to do instead? Fill your head with these statements…not in whispers, but loud proclamations!

“I know I can do this!”
“Success is mine!”
“She is just the right person for this job!”
“This is gonna work out great!”
“Success is inevitable!”

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