What if you:
● Failed in high school (almost every course, even receiving a zero in physics)
● Submitted drawings to your school yearbook, but were rejected
● Failed in college (again, almost every course)
● Failed at golf
● Failed socially
● Failed at dating (proposed marriage to your girlfriend, but were rejected)
● Had your work rejected by two renowned newspapers
- Applied to Disney as an Animator, but were rejected
How many of us would have given up?
Charles Schulz, best known for his Peanuts comic strips, experienced one failure after another but never gave up. His many failures and rejections spurred him to ultimate success. His cartoon character, Charlie Brown, became famous as a lovable loser of sorts and reminded people of their own awkward and sometimes embarrassing moments from the past. Charles Shultz reminds us that we all face challenges and discouragement and if we are persistent, pick ourselves up when we get knocked down and try again, we will continue to learn and grow as individuals and leaders and continue to add value with our presence…ultimately leading to success.
I literally have a pair of old faded jeans with broken belt loops. Over the years I have grabbed the belt loops and yanked those jeans on until the belt loops finally gave way. I can’t seem to throw out the jeans because they are worn in just right and extremely comfortable. I find the analogy ironic. Sometimes it takes an extra effort to pull ourselves up. When we fall, our minds are filled with doubt and fear that paralyzes us. We might get up half-way and then an obstacle arises and BAM, we fall back down. Twelve years ago after leaving the hotel industry, I decided to start my own business. Anyone who has started a business will tell you, there are many obstacles that get in the way. Expenses were higher than anticipated and BAM, I fell down with discouragement. Sales were taking longer than planned, and BAM, doubt crept in and I wanted to quit again. I would get so close to a new account and then it would fall through at the last minute leading to feelings of rejection and inadequacy and BAM, I almost quit yet again. BAM, BAM, BAM…I fell down until the back side of my jeans were faded and worn from falling on my “derriere” time after time and until the belt loops were broken from pulling myself up over and over and over again. I fell down and pulled myself up, I was not going to be defeated by negative thoughts, fear of failure or a couple of setbacks. Ultimately, over the years, we have had the privilege of working with many fabulous organizations such as Coca-Cola Bottling, Duke Energy, National Gypsum Company, Microsoft, Siemens Energy, Carolinas Healthcare and many more.
If you see potential in yourself, even though you think no one else does, continue to step up and create your own destiny. Sometimes a lack of confidence, prior disappointments or previous failures may cause us to be reluctant at putting ourselves at any further risk, exposure or rejection but never give up and never stop learning from failure. We have all fallen many times and for many different reasons but, if we can find the inner strength to persevere, we just might find that some some successes just take a little more “learning” to achieve…just ask Charles Shultz.