Setting yourself up: failure or success

A week or so ago, I posted this on Facebook:

If you know how to set yourself up for failure (and most of us do!), then you also know how to set yourself up for success.

In answering the many comments this inspired, I noticed how much the idea surprised people. (It certainly surprised me when I first noticed!) And I was delighted to see what happened when people really clicked on what it means.

Let’s start with the reality that most of us are very good at setting ourselves up for failure.

I don’t mean that as a judgment; it’s simply a statement of what I’ve done myself, what I see others doing, and what my clients tell me about their experience.

If I were to go into the reasons for it, I’d end up writing a book instead of a blog post. Instead, I’ll just say that it has to do with what we’re taught about ourselves, what we believe we deserve, and how we work to achieve that.

Not how we work to achieve what we want.

How we work to achieve what we believe we deserve, even if that’s not what we actually want.

Most of the time it’s unconscious, and therefore maddeningly frustrating. We love what we do and we want to get it out there, yet “something” keeps tripping us up and preventing us.

When we pause, look more closely, and start consciously observing, we become aware of the little things we do that create the small failures that develop into big tripping-points.

Sometimes setting ourselves up for success is as simple as stopping the little things that create those small cumulative failures.

More often, it takes more work than that. More often, we need to go deeper to understand the root causes of our need to keep proving that the messages we’ve absorbed are true – you know, those messages about how we’re not good enough and we don’t deserve to succeed.

I promise you that those messages are not true.  We all deserve to succeed.

You are good enough to succeed.

And when you know how you create failure for yourself, you’ll also know how to turn it around.

gljudson Management & Leadership