What is Failure REALLY

Dr. Alex Golden challenges the common perception of failure as a negative experience, instead arguing that it’s an illusion. She offers strategies for reframing negative thoughts and overcoming failure, emphasizing the importance of a growth mindset and taking action towards personal growth. Dr. Golden also discusses the challenges of leadership and the importance of emotional intelligence in navigating responsibilities and emotional turmoil. She emphasizes the significance of living a life that aligns with one’s values and beliefs, and taking responsibility for one’s actions and growth for a fulfilling life.

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Dr. Alex Golden:

Hello. Welcome to the Becoming Zesty Podcast. Or if you’re tuning in on YouTube, hello, hello, welcome to the video. Today, we’re going to talk about what is failure really like? Actually, what is failure? Because a lot of people talk about a lot of different stuff about what failure is, and reframing it and thinking about it more positively, and all sorts of stuff. And I think that stuff is awesome. We even have episodes like that where we talk about failure functioning as feedback, but really that concept still plays into the heart of how we use failure as the word in society, right? It’s like the reason that we have to reframe something like failure is because we all agree that it’s there and it’s a problem, and we’re all talking about the same thing, right? And the problem, the good news about that is that we do need to have shared language so that we can actually communicate with each other. So the reality is, we use, we use words to represent concepts that aren’t actually the concepts themselves, all the time, and we’re okay with that, right? Like the thing, if I point to the moon, my finger pointing to the moon is not the moon, right? I’m just alerting you that my finger is pointing that way, so that your eyes look that way. And so that’s really where it is. And so it is external, yeah, the finger is just a decoy. And so when with languaging, right? We can talk about things like God in the universe, but we’re not thinking that we are representing them. And so in some or that we are actually having them there, where just it’s a word to represent a concept and all that it encompasses. And so when it comes to failure, in some ways, that’s a little bit of what’s happening here is that, like we all have come into an agreement of what we believe failure means. It’s kind of like not getting what you want at the time that you wanted it, and then in order to overcome that very valid experience, then we talk about failure, and we talk about then how to think about it differently. How is, you know, a lot of people are like, it’s redirection. There are just a lot of ways of looking at it that alleviates the feelings of negativity, of not having what you want, right? And that is all really handy, and that’s why we love languaging so much, right? We certify people in NLP, Neuro Linguistic Programming. It’s really how language is hardwired in the brain, and therefore, the words that somebody uses, words that everybody uses, directly relates to how they see the world. When someone says money is hard to make. There’s really like three operative money hard make, right? So the creation, the act of creation, that the concept of money and hardness, ease or hard difficulty are three separate concepts. Yes, but that person is saying they’re all connected. So when we’re coaching, when we can actually listen closely for someone’s language, it goes a long way for actually being able to help them, because then those are they. It gets to questions like, Why do you believe that’s hard? What happened in your past that made you have that interpretation, right? You get a lot of information about someone when you ask the actual meaningful questions, as opposed to like, well, what’s the problem? What’s the problem? What’s the problem? If you ask people what the problem is, they’re gonna tell you a million problems, like the human brain can go forever with that stuff, like forever in a day. No, you just will move the goalpost as a human right. And so that’s not really what coaching is about. You sure, it’s understanding, but it’s understanding the right stuff. Otherwise, if you’ve been coaching or leading humans for any longer than five minutes. You know that they don’t always track like that, right? So, so trying to follow them around instead of actually leading is a recipe for a lot of frustration. And so when it comes to talking about what failure actually is, this is where we look at what is actually happening in the biggest picture, right? If we’re talking about the moon, we’re talking about the moon, not my finger pointing at it. So the when it comes to failure, failure is a product of dropping the time cut off at the wrong time. So what is that mean? For real? Really, it’s essentially trying to count your chickens when it is not the time to be counting them, right? Failure is always, in actuality, not what it looks like to you that that’s why I explained that whole thing, right? That’s all valid. That’s all cool. But when we zoom out, if you are ready to look at a higher level understanding of failure, is that really it does not exist like it truly doesn’t actually exist. Let’s say I have a goal to make $100 million in this lifetime. And I know in my heart and in my spirit that failure does not exist. What it actually looks like is that I won’t be frustrated because I’m not dropping the time that it’s supposed to be there anywhere right every moment is still I have just as much opportunity to make 100 million now, as I did five minutes ago, as a week ago, and as 10 years ago, and we can go back forever, right? It is to say that when I say I’m doing something, it’s just a matter of it hasn’t come to fruition yet. And the thing is, if you never get frustrated, right? If you just believed, then you would actually spend from today, when you decided that till the rest of your life, acting every single day as if the your success was inevitable, the odds of you actually created, of me creating that 100 million is going to be significantly higher. And then here’s kind of the best news, even though it sounds a little morbid. Then people who have beliefs around death that are a little rough might not enjoy this part as much. But if you can get to the concept of if I have that belief, and then one day at 85 I get hit by a bus, delete, delete, right? It wouldn’t even matter. There would have been no failure, because I was just like, I can make it today. I can make it to I’m still going. I am building that. I am having it, and then if I disappear, guess what happens to me? Nothing. It’s over, right? So, so really, at the end of the day, we can see you only get failure if you’re trying to cut off the timeline while you’re still alive. I hope, I hope you’re tracking me on this. But the that doesn’t exist because you just still have more time to do it. It’s not a no, it’s just a not yet. But the whole thing is, is that, let’s say it didn’t happen what you want it, and by the time a you’re not around to care, first of all, but two, this is where I’ll put to you, if you came here to accomplish something, and then you didn’t, and you and it comes down to, where do you believe that desire comes from if you feel like God or the universe or the world at large created this need in you, and this desire arose, I said, I want to help people so much with this, and that’s what I want to accomplish, right? And that’s gonna make me $100 million don’t you think that. It the god or universe, or however you conceptualize it, still wants that to happen on the planet, right? So in my mind, I’m like, if I can’t get it done in this trip, someone else will get it done, right? There will be no failure to humanity. There will have been because if I got to advance it so far, and someone else can come and stand on my shoulders and finish out the job, well then where’s the failure? Because they can’t come and stand on anybody’s shoulders if I had never done it.

So then they’re working from scratch the same way I am, and maybe they won’t finish right? Is just looking at failure that way. Honestly, the more we believe in it, the more we kick the can down the road for somebody else to deal with it. The only reason that you aren’t living out a family legacy right now is that nobody else before you did it, if you’re trying to build one cool that’s because no one else did right. If they had, you wouldn’t need to do what you feel like you need to do. And so that’s that whole thing. Can we look at it from a higher perspective? And of course, that’s a little bit tricky here, because that perspective involves the loss of self importance. It essentially has us answer. If it doesn’t have to be me, why do why am I making myself so crucial? Why does it have to be me? Why do I? Why do I need to be the one that’s like saving the day or saving humanity, or has the generation right? So much of it is honestly tied up and having an ego and having more of that, I want to feel good. I want to feel like I prove my worth. I want to feel like the kudos I get is actually for something, and I can point to that thing and say, Look how good of a job I did over this lifetime. Yeah. Yeah. So when we find ourselves not jiving with that bigger concept, the actual answer is that the thing in the middle between you and that reality and most likely having the things that you want, is that there’s been a mismatch of how you fit into the larger picture. That is not to say you don’t matter. And that’s the funny part. Is that so often it’s like, we look at it as an on and off switch, where, like, if I’m not super duper important, then I must be nothing and burn it all the heck and whatever. But really that’s not what. It’s just actually seeing yourself accurately, if you get it to a certain point, and then someone else comes and does the next leg and finishes out and helps the world. Well, then you did that. There is nothing that that takes away from you, unless you have the issue where you’re like, Well, I want to be in the history books, and I want to be in the textbooks, and I want to go down as the name that gets put into history, as the one that mattered. That’s the thing that’s going to because you’re going to need everybody to, at some level, cosign for you. The more that you think that way, the more needs you actually have, it makes you much more needy as a leader. You got people that tell you need to have people that tell you you did a good job. You need to have people buy or you’re a failure. You need to have a certain amount of money, or you’re not a good coach or a good leader. You need to make the have the certain followers. It makes you so needy for things, as opposed to stepping back and saying I am a leader, and what I contribute here is the fullness of what I got and whatever that is, is whatever that is. And only from that place can we really step into the power of knowing that failure does not actually exist as such, right? Failure is just an inaccurate way of measuring time, and we gotta remember, as much as we play by time on this planet, it’s not as linear as we would all like it to be, right. Why does it feel like some days are five minutes and some days are a decade right? The time itself does not make as much sense as we all kind of like to play that it does right, and so it allows us to appropriately place ourselves and you you get to be really, really important in the grand scheme of things, but you don’t need to over inflate your importance, and you don’t have to underplay your importance, and that that is so important if you’re just neutrally and calm. Family, doing what you do in the world, helping who you help, enjoying your life as much as you can with given what you got, having gratitude for what you have, currently, continuing to work for what you don’t have. There’s there’s so much less emotional and mentor mental turmoil in that world, but it does ask us to step away from some of the grasping and the holding on to those concepts. I need x to feel good. I need to have accomplished why or this life was a failure. I didn’t do anything, whether I’m not going to be remembered, or I didn’t make enough money for my family, like any and all of that, it’s totally valid. You can want what you want, but if you need it, if you’re like, I’m going to show this is going to be completely pointless. Unless I get to this whole thing, you don’t have a good picture of what is happening. And in my belief, someone who doesn’t know what’s happening. I don’t know why God or universe or anybody else would hand them the map and say, Let’s go lead a bunch of people, right? Like, if you can’t see you, how are you gonna lead millions of people? That gets you those millions and millions of dollars. You literally can’t you will go insane trying to get all them to like you and do whatever and all that stuff, like you just don’t have it enough to take responsibility for that kind of thing. And here’s the thing, that’s not a bad thing, right? Like it takes so much responsibility to make decisions. Be the authority, be judged by followers, have a bunch of opinions and have people argue with you and withstand all that and calmly lead. Therefore, it’s not meant to be an easy jump to make, if, really, if it was easy, more people would do it, and then more people would lead whole millions of people on the planet probably to their doom, right? Because they wouldn’t have the responsibility. They’d be like, oh, you should do it my way. And then a bunch of people would be deeply unhappy, and then they’d be mad at that leader. There’s a reason the system doesn’t work like that. So in some ways, we just have to understand you only get to play the game at full speed when you can see it clearly, and if you can’t see it clearly, it is a huge blessing that you can’t go faster, because when you’re not looking and you can go really fast, you do stuff like crash into a wall or a telephone pole, or we’ve, all you know, seen young drivers. None of that stuff is really what we’re going for now. We don’t have to like it, like the protective functions of the universe. We don’t have to like as in, we don’t have to always feel emotionally happy with it. There are plenty of times where I’m like, Man, this setup is some BS, right? Like, and you’ve probably heard me on this podcast talk about it, or if you’ve been to our events, whatever, you don’t have the understanding and the emotions at any given moment. Don’t have to be the same every single second of your lifetime. You get to understand how it works, throw a little hissy fit, get over it and keep it pushing right. It’s actually kind of nice that way. That’s why we have all four bodies, so that you could have a myriad of experiences, and it doesn’t blow up your whole life. And so for any of this conversation, right, look at your emotional reactions to things. The more you feel yourself going into the victim mode of, why don’t I have it? Why am I such a failure? Why don’t I ever know enough blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseam. This is all of this discussion is going to be super duper relevant. And let’s face it, that is the vast majority of people walking around on the planet. We all do that. It’s just a matter of how much and then really it’s a matter of, how are we going to unpack that? The way I look at it, this is one of those things where my whole personality and everything that makes it me, and all my possible reactions, and all of the different parts, inner child, Higher Self, whatever, all of me, then it just it gets To have some some variation in the landscape, therefore, I don’t necessarily have to think about things in the same way. As long as I never lose sight of the reality of what’s actually happening, right? If I never lose sight of the clarity of the vision and how I fit into it then, then that’s where we can truly do the work. So you look at the emotions, your responses to things, how you feel, they will actually that emotional compass will walk you over to where you want to be, because that’s what it’s made for. It is truly made to point you in the direction that is the most fulfilling. Hmm, the most fun. And that’s why, you know, oh, hey, this sucks. You’re thinking that because you get to find out what feels better off that compass, right? And so any emotional turmoil that you have, especially as it relates to failure, will always clean up that side of the street for you. What you will be left with is an understanding of the work that you do, why you do it, and how it will actually fit into that bigger picture, what happens after what impact you’re making? All of that stuff comes into view, but it won’t come into view by forcing through emotions. The emotions point you in that way. So you’re going to have to trust yourself enough to go on a little journey to figure that out. And some of it will look like being mad, yelling at this guy throwing throw pillows. I’ve done all this, by the way, and I highly recommend. And then eventually, with that, the ahas will start to come into focus. It’ll be like, You know what? I can see that if I am proud every day, at the end of the day, I live a good life, no matter what the results are, like that if I am proud and happy of what I’m doing and feeling good, the results that I get along the way will be enough. They will be what feels good. They will be. And then if, at the end of it, even if I do get to have the awareness, which living this way, you won’t, if I even get to have the awareness, I’ll know how far I took. It, the fight that I got the when I showed up as a warrior on this planet. I fought the fight that I came to fight, and this is how far I got it. Maybe I didn’t finish it all the way. But hey, you know what? Not all, like, the the guy that the marathon is like, he got to the end and then just died, right? That’s the story. I don’t actually know if that’s true, so don’t fact check, you know, like fact check that on, on your own. But what I the the colloquial story, is just like, you know, he gets there and then he expires, but it’s like, and then all that he didn’t ever know that he had that kind of impact, and that might be you as well, but it’s like, I have to wonder, when he was running, did he Ever think, like, what could be the ripple effect? What does this show people like, what if he was running and was feeling so proud of what he was doing and that’s how he died? I mean, I that’s if we’re talking about that. That’s how I want to go. I want to die feeling proud. I want to be like, Oh, I’m doing a good job. And, you know, there’s the bus or whatever, but the that is the difference of the life, a life that is true and actually represents what’s happening, and a life where you lie to yourself to tell yourself the story. Like, I think we’re all trying to motivate ourselves be like, if I feel bad, then I’ll try harder, but honestly, you are just taking the air out of your own tires, right? You’re just creating a scenario where you’re telling yourself a lie, feeling bad about it, and then being like, that’s why I’m gonna go watch TV and eat the Oreos.

But that’s not what we’re all going for, and we all know it. That’s the thing. This is where we have to look in the mirror and be like, I might be pissed about it. I might be really annoyed that Alex is saying this. I don’t want to hear it. I want to have what I want. And I and I’ve been there, and I totally get that throw the throw pillows and, you know, do do the processing things, because it only hurts you, right? And that’s why it’s like, we can be the parent and the kid. I’m gonna throw the temper tantrum, and then I’m gonna remind myself that I have no choice. I want what I want, and the only way that I can go do get it is to go try and get it. There is no shortcut there. I mean, there’s shortcuts, as in, you can resource yourself, but there’s no shortcutting the growth and the responsibility that’s required. And therefore we can fight all we want on it and kick and scream. And there are times like I’m saying I do, but then I finish that up and I say, Okay, here’s what’s actually happening, like, exactly what I’m telling you now, and then I’m like, What am I doing? I go make a to do list, and I go about my day just like any other day, the negative times then just do not derail, because essentially, nothing that my mind tells me in those moments of negativity are actually the truth. Therefore I’m never going to change what I’m doing based off them. If something actually for real comes up and it encourages me to shift into doing something else awesome, I’ll do that, and I’ve done that my whole life, and I’ve already proven to myself that I will. So I’m not going to keep questioning myself, if I will, I can literally go back and look through my. A little timeline that I can draw on a piece of paper and be like, I did this, I changed, I did this, I changed, I went here, I changed. So it’s no problem. I don’t have to keep questioning me because I’m already in the cam like I can answer the question. So from that standpoint, I am just setting some boundaries within me to say I don’t believe that thought. I can feel it. I can rail against it, but at the end of that, I’m still gonna remind myself those are just thoughts. They are not who I am, and tomorrow I may still, might still feel a little down, might still feel a little bummed. But if my job is to put one foot in front of the other to help humanity and get it as far as possible, and then someone else will come help me out with that awesome that’s all of us, no matter where you get it to, even if it’s what your goal is, someone’s still gonna come and build onto it, on top of it. So it is all good. It’s the same thing. Hopefully, by the end of this, you are convinced, at least in your mind, if not experientially, that failure is not really a thing, that it does not even exist in terms of our understanding of how the universe works. So we can all breathe big old sigh of relief, and just say, what do I need to do to accomplish what I came here to do? Right? That’s the only question, really, at the end of the day, that will make a difference for what we actually want in life. So check that out. Get back to me. You know, I always love a little interaction. So shoot us an email support@becomingze.com or you can put it in the comments here in the YouTube video. Also, I wanted to invite you to our NLP essentials course is open currently. You can check that out in the show notes there. And very, very important, we have our August habit event coming up. It’s August, 20 and 21st here in Dallas, and so there are no there’s a link in the show notes as well that you can check out there. It goes directly to the web page and reach out to us with any questions. It is a powerful two day experience. Essentially, how do you get control of your habits? How do you be in control of what you do every day so that you feel good about yourself when you go to bed at night? That’s the art of living as a leader. And habits are step six out of seven of transformation. And so you can hear it is a huge problem. People tend to drop in right at the very end and trying to change it. They’re missing the whole five steps leading up to it. So we’re going to tell you exactly how to do that, and you will leave that event feeling like a different identity. If you don’t, you are not listening, because we’re gonna tell you exactly how, like, the steps, not, not like, oh, you should know yourself. No, we’re gonna tell you exactly the how. So make sure that you sign up, make sure that you are there, and make sure you are ready to learn, because it’s gonna be a heavy hitting two days, really, really powerful stuff. All right, I’ll catch you on the next episode. See you soon.