Failure is a word that creates this deep dark feeling in our stomach. It is also the word most commonly responsible for keeping people from taking action. We have attached so much feeling to this word that we actually allow it to control us in some respects.

If you walk over to a window and write the word failure on it, does it come to life? Does it become a force that prevents you from opening the window? Does it create shackles around your wrists or ankles? It doesn’t. The word does not present itself in physical form.

Yet. This very word, heard inside of our heads, causes our bodies to become paralyzed. It prevents us from thinking past the word. Many people have brilliant ideas, and they suddenly STOP, because they fear failure.

The truth is, failure is just a word. It does not have to mean forever. We can redefine this word to mean “excellent attempt, try again”. With that definition, we are more likely to try. You have not failed. You are not a failure. You may not have met the expectations that you or someone else put in place, but failure does not have to mean forever.

Maybe your parents, friends, or teachers have referred to you as a failure. Maybe you refer to yourself as a failure. Perhaps, you’re scared of trying because you don’t want to be known as a failure. When you begin to think of yourself as a failure, remind yourself:

  1. Failure is just a word

2. Failure does not mean forever
3. The “idea” of failure kills more dreams, than anything else
4. Replacing the word failure with the words, excellent attempt, try again, is powerful
5. Failure cannot come to life unless we allow it
6. You are greater than this negative word
7. Attempt, and keep attempting, if it doesn’t work out, learn from it and attempt again
8. Most successful people did not succeed on their first go, but they pushed past the fear of failing
9. You get to choose if this word will define you, or if you will redefine it
10. The second you begin to think “what if I fail” replace it with “what if I succeed”

The idea of failing, brings out the feelings of fear. Feelings are so powerful, and we try to avoid the negative ones the best we can. Fail, failure, failed, are all words. They are not forecasters. They are not forever. The only power those words have are the powers we give them.

If you’re thinking, “but, Cheryl, you don’t understand”, I do. I too allowed those words and those fears to gain control for a part of my life. I am a reflection of you. I can tell you these things matter-of-factually, because, I too wore the shoes you’re now walking in.

We must come to a point when we believe, and realize, we choose what a word means to us. We choose, how we respond to the word. We choose to allow this invisible word, to keep us stuck, or we redefine the word to empower ourselves.

Imagine if every time you felt that passion bubble up inside you grabbed a dictionary and said “I can’t do it because of this book”, that is basically what you’re saying. A book of words is keeping you from living your purpose. Why, are the words I am telling you any less valuable?


  • Cheryl Cyr

    Psychotherapist, Life + Business Coach

    Cheryl Cyr, is the creator of "Wording From Within" a program that she teaches all over the country to help people increase Confidence, Success + become Limitless. She is also the founder of Power Within Counseling & Consultation the most sought after Private Practice in 4 Corners Fl, + won the “Best of Haines City Award for Mental Health in 2018”. Cheryl has given her talk on words on the TEDx stage and is a speaker at professional conferences, workshops and retreats. Cheryl is a Licensed Psychotherapist with a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a certification in Behavioral Forensics. When not working, Cheryl can be found meditating in the woods somewhere. She is a firm believer that the silence of a forest can dramatically impact our being.