Setbacks And Comebacks

by Daryl Daughtry, Publisher

– Listen to this article here.

Failure. It’s an ominous word. It’s a word loaded with negative connotations and concepts. It’s a word that people fear. So much so, that many people allow their fear of failure to prevent them from achieving anything significant. As crazy as it sounds, they embrace what they fear most to avoid the embrace of their fear.

We are all conditioned to view failure not only as a bad thing, but also as a personal flaw. We are taught a narrative where only winners have worth. The winners are the good guys and because of their goodness, they deserve to win. Winning is their reward for doing all the right stuff.

On the other hand, this same story tells us that if you fail, there must be something wrong with you. Failure is a personal judgement. It’s the antithesis of winning. If you fail, the story goes, you must have done something to deserve it. You must not be good enough to succeed.

Even though this story that we’re all taught is just that, a story, many people adopt it as fact. Their inner voice
repeats this story to them each time they step into a new situation. Over time, this repetition gives this negative propaganda a setup as truth. When you hear a lie enough, from yourself and those around you, it’s easier to believe it’s true.

However, in the end, failure is just a word. It’s powerless unless and until we give it power. In the end, the story we’ve all been taught about winners and losers is a lie. It only becomes the truth if and when we give it belief. I think it’s time to put a stake through this heart of darkness and end its ability to influence our actions and direction.

Because, the truth is, there is no failure. It is failure, as we’ve been taught to understand it, that is the lie. There are no failures in life. There are only setbacks. And because there is no real failure, no individual can be a personal failure. There are only individuals experiencing setbacks and all of us, at one time or another, have faced an obstacles or a setback.

You can detoxify the lie of failure and deal with setbacks. It’s a learnable skillset or mindset. It’s also extremely important because, in the end learning how to handle setbacks is one of the keys to achieving real success in all areas of your life.


Let’s look at some great examples of people overcoming the obstacles they bravely faced…

1 – Colonel Harlan Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, introduced his now-famous chicken recipe as a man in his 60’s. It was rejected over a thousand times by food establishments he sought to partner with. He refused to give up and as we all know, KFC restaurants are now all over the world and Colonel Sanders died a wealthy man. Would you endure over a thousand rejections or would you quit after the first 10?

2 – Entrepreneur R.H. Macy started seven failed businesses before hitting it big with his New York City department store – Macy’s, which later became a national chain.

3 – Motivational speaker and author, Jack Canfield, of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” fame had his first books rejected by 144 publishers.

4 – In 1953, Rocket Chemical Company and its tiny staff of three set out to create a rust-prevention solvent for
the space industry. It took them 40 tries, that would be 39 failed attempts, to get the water displacing formula
perfected. That original formula is famously known as WD-40® – which stands for Water Displacement perfected on the 40th try. It’s still in use today and very popular.

5 – Walt Disney, founder of Disney World, the Disney Channel, and countless movies, cartoons, and television shows was once fired by the editor of a newspaper because he, and I quote, “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”. Are you kidding me?

I could give you many many more such examples of successful people who originally encountered rejection, yet hung in there and refused to quit. Perseverance, grit, determination, willpower – whatever you want to call it – pays off in the end.

Therefore, failure only happens when you assume it and don’t even try or when you give up and quit. In closing, I’ve got two words for you… DON’T QUIT!