Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when you’re trying to achieve success in your business or personal life. It feels like something you have to strive after — to work really hard to achieve. It feels like if you don’t put in every ounce of energy you possibly can, you won’t achieve the success you desire.
And that makes sense on a certain level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of new businesses fail in the first two years, 45% in the first five years, and 65% within the first decade. Only 25% manage to stay in operation for 15 years or more (source).
So if your business has a nearly 50% chance of failing in the first five years, it makes sense that you’d want to do everything you can to succeed. After all, your business is important to you.
But burning yourself out trying to make things work won’t accomplish anything but frustration, stress, and further burnout.
The reason people tend to do this is because they believe in the power of action to fix their problems.
I’m not saying the right actions aren’t important — of course they are. But if you don’t get your inner state right, no amount of action can make up for it.
The truth is that if you approach it from the inside out, success is virtually guaranteed.
The Source of Failure
If we want to succeed, I think it’s important to look at how we can fail.
When it comes to business, you might think of things like lack of funds, poor marketing, failure to understand the customer, etc.
But in reality those are all outward factors, and at best secondary to the true root of failure.
Indeed I would argue that you could get all of these wrong, and if you got the true underlying cause right, you’d still succeed.
So what is that true source of failure?
At the root of it all, it comes from misalignment. It comes from focusing more on what is not working, than focusing on what is. It comes from believing more in failure than in success.
At the root of it all, it comes from being out of the flow with yourself — with your vision and the flow of inspiration.
When you address the surface-level factors but ignore these foundational causes, you spin your wheels.
Because the truth is that those surface-level factors are actually only effects of what is the real cause. It’s like treating the symptom but not the underlying malady.
This is a difficult way to think at first because we’re so used to thinking that action is what drives success.
But it’s believing in that action that makes success so difficult and often illusive.
Addressing the Root Cause
What truly matters is alignment.
That means being open and allowing to success coming to you. It means not resisting the flow of inspiration as it arises. It means not trying to make things happen, but allowing them to naturally.
I know that all might sound a bit vague and abstract. But it’s more of a feeling — a way of being — than some particular action to take.
You have to develop the sense as to whether you are in the flow or not.
If you are resisting the flow, you’re not open to success. It feels like tension, like struggle, like effort.
But if you are in the flow, then you are open and welcome to success arising naturally. It feels like ease, like openness, like freedom and a sense of effortlessness.
More than all the myriad law of attraction techniques you might find out there, I find this simple awareness of resistance or flow to be the best and easiest way to open to the natural fulfillment of your desires.
If you feel resistant, then simply let go and relax into the flow instead. If you feel struggle, seek ease and effortlessness. As long as you are paying attention to what you are feeling, you can never be deceived as to whether you are on track or not.
Success Is Natural
It’s easy to try to make a doing out of all of this: you have to feel the right things, and avoid feeling the wrong things. You have to have positive thoughts, and avoid having negative thoughts.
And all that can be a bit of a stress all on its own.
But when I say success is natural, I’m pointing to something a lot deeper — a lot more fundamental — than all of that.
I truly believe that failure is the exception, not the rule.
The truth is that life will lead you to all the success you desire, if you stop resisting it.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as you resist it less, you’ll start moving in the right direction.
I want you to start seeing success as the default, not as something you have to struggle for and try to make happen.
Imagine you are a river flowing downstream. As long as no obstacles get in your way, you’ll flow naturally to the sea. It is as inevitable as the sunrise. It’s simply a statement of fact — the way the laws of nature work.
In this case, obstacles aren’t anything external to you — nothing external to you can stop or slow down your success in any way.
The “obstacles” are your own resistance — your own attempt to struggle, to rush things along, to act without inspiration.
If you give all that up, you will find success, just as surely as the river finds the sea.
But here’s the true magic of this all: the obstacles can never last forever. Just as a river will carve through rock given enough time, so your own obstacles must surely only be temporary, no matter how long-lasting they might seem.
There Is No Such Thing as Failure
I’m not naive. I’ve run several businesses in my life so far, and several of them have failed.
But in the bigger picture, I don’t actually think that’s true.
A business can “fail” for a few different reasons:
- You acted without inspiration and so it didn’t have the support of that flow. This can happen if you only started the business to make money, or out of fear or a sense of lack.
- You responded to inspiration but only partially. You took some lessons from it which you will apply to your true purpose later on.
- It was inspired but you resisted the flow too much. This isn’t as much a failure as a respite before the inspiration arises again, with greater clarity.
- You started the business and got what you wanted out of it. Maybe this was just for the money or some short-term goal, and you achieved it, sold the business and moved on.
In all of these, really only the first looks anything like failure. But still it’s not: you will have learned lessons from even that — lessons that there is no lack, nor is lack or the need for money a sufficient reason to start a business. You will know to be better attuned to your own inspiration.
By the way, when I say that the need for money isn’t a sufficient reason to start a business, i’m not judging here. I’m speaking of long-term ventures that are meant to fulfill a larger purpose. As I summarized in point #4 above, sometimes you do just want to make some quick money on the side, and in those cases the business is usually short-lived until your greater inspiration takes hold.
My point in all of this is that no matter why your previous attempts at business seem to have failed, failure was always actually impossible.
And so it is with your current attempt, too. Either you will find all the success you desire, or you will learn lessons that will help you in your future ventures.
When you can get comfortable with that idea that failure isn’t even possible, then suddenly there is simply nothing to fear. You are eternally supported, led ever forward towards the accomplishment of all of your goals. Success is an inevitability, failure an impossibility. With that knowledge, go forth and succeed.