How to Avoid Failure Every Time . . .

Recently, I had lunch with a dear friend of mine. It was a gorgeous sunny day, though still brisk with Spring on the way, but not yet here. We decided to stroll the neighborhood boutiques following a delicious bite to eat. It was a Monday, so not many other folks were out (hey there are advantages to being the boss!).  There was one tiny place, no wider than five feet across, but a good twenty feet deep. A little sliver of fashion and fun in the midst of popular eateries, brew pubs, and full scaled storefronts.

Big DreamsHow to Create a Happy Life, Motivational Speaker, Melissa Galt, Inspirational Keynotes, Keynote Speaker
The gal manning it was friendly and dishing about the three for one special on jewelry. As is my habit, I started to ask her about her big dream.  And you thought I only did this with my clients, heck I ask everyone because most people aren’t living their dream.  Evidently I hit a nerve.  It turns out she is a talented artist and muralist. When the economy was strong she was doing her artwork full time and loving it, as soon as the economy nose dived, she gave up, packed up, quit and took the job she has now.

Setting Up Every Obstacle to Success
I asked if she had a website and she was quick to point out she couldn’t afford it. That didn’t make any sense since I know hosting is less than $10/month. When I pointed this out, she went into a tirade about how no one bought art online, she couldn’t afford advertising, it was a total failure. She had decided to put her dreams on hold for the economy, rather than create her own. The irony is that she had a website with her portfolio but in her mind because she couldn’t advertise, it was useless. Evidently, no one had shared the value of SEO (search engine optimization) with her, or the value of building a community online in social media with Facebook and Twitter. She’d shut herself off to possibility and opportunity.

Failure is Her Certainty
In my ever optimistic way of suggesting how she could put herself back out there (sometimes I just don’t learn!), I got another earful. This time she insisted that she would fail. And with those words, I guaranteed her she would. She seemed to be fueled by the the idea that getting back out there would only result in failure and was entirely unwilling to look at anything else. She has decided that unless or until the economy is ready, there is no way she can succeed as an artist or really as anything else! This really bothered me because I realized that you may be thinking the same thing.

The Missing Ingredients
There are only two things you have to have to get through tough times, faith and perseverance.  Neither of these costs you a dime, but without them you will lose your dreams, you will rob the world of your gifts, and you will lose yourself to a life of default instead of a journey by design.

Keep Going
That you experience adversity may not be up to you, how you handle it is entirely up to you. I’m not saying it’s easy and it’s not without pain, struggle, challenge, and frustration. I am saying you can overcome it. Whenever I am in doubt I remember Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness. That movie left an enormous impression on me because it was based on a true story of a man who no matter how many times he got knocked down, back to back, face to face, he kept getting up and going.

Welfare Welcomed Us
And whenever movies aren’t enough, I remind myself that when I was in public junior high school, and walked to school for three years with brown bag lunches and my mom had said it was for the experience, it wasn’t. Mom was a single working parent, while she’d had a glamorous career, it had stalled. Years later she told me that during this time she’d been without work for two solid years, I was busy growing up and surviving adolescence with all that entails. I had no idea. Her unemployment benefits had run out. She was within two days of going on welfare with us in tow, when the option for her book was picked up and an advance was provided. We never knew because my mother was a woman of incredible faith and perseverance. She continued seeking new opportunities at every turn, never doubting that something would turn up, a door would open and it did.

Find Your Answer
Find your faith whether it is in God, in the Universe, in yourself, and find a way to keep going. There are those around you who want to support your dreams and your visions. I am one of them and not the only one. Anyone who doesn’t, let them go. They gave up on themselves and their own dreams and too often spend their time tearing down others. You deserve your dreams, the world deserves your gifts.  Failure is the absence of faith.


  1. Jamye says

    Melissa, you are a GOD send! As usual, a beautiful article that could not have come into my life at a better time!

    God bless you.

  2. says

    Terrific article! Wow you had a strong Mom. Last week, I heard Joshua Boswell from the AWAI Copywriting Web Intensive speaking about hope-and he asked what facts in our histories exist to support hope for future changes we want to make in our lives, in pursuit of our dreams. On the way to building my career as an Artist, I got up daily to paint at 4:30a.m. for nine years when I had a demanding other full time job, sixty hours a week, because no one else was going to paint my paintings. During the Recession, I kept painting and filled in with several part time jobs. Do whatever is necessary to keep hope alive and confidence that you’re moving toward your dreams despite temporary circumstances.

  3. says

    You’ve captured the story of a poignant life lesson so clearly.
    Last year, my word of the year was “persistence”, and honestly, I just hadn’t “felt” a new one for 2012 yet.
    Now I’ve got it.
    Perseverance: “Steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose”, in spite of whatever life throws my way :-)
    Consistent Persistence = Perseverance.
    Now that’s working for me!
    Thank you.
    Wishing you well-

  4. Louise DiSclafani says

    Melissa…great piece. This quote that I love immediately comes to mind with these situations, if you think you can or can’t, you’re right. I have this written down so I don’t forget when things are not going right. And I entered it on my social media profiles as my favorite quote.

  5. says

    Just posted a link to your article on Facebook. I know my friends will enjoy it as much as I did! You said it just right-keep hoping, keep going, keep growing.
    Thanks for your perseverance,

  6. says

    Sometimes we forget what our dreams are or were in the pursuit of what is here and now. It’s OK to chase a dream and make it a goal that’s what feeds the fire.

    It’s too bad that doubt and fear always have to show up and spoil the party. The trick is to know that they can be sent on their way and that no one can that but me.

    Like the short video if we let others tell us what we can and can’t do we would never have gone to the moon.

  7. says

    The opposite of faith is FEAR. I choose faith. Thanks for the article!

    BTW…do you remember our freezing ride to the restaurant in Atlanta? Turns out, all I needed was water in the radiator! Duh! Hope to see you again in August.

    • Melissa Galt says

      Hey Jeanne,

      Great to see you here! Yes, I do remember our ride and fear of a dead animal in the car, lol. Glad it was just the radiator!

      Hugs, Melissa

  8. says

    Melissa I needed this today! I have been practically begging the Universe for a break. Jan was my best month in a long time. So this week I got what I was asking for. I got exactly what I have been wanting. I have almost no appointments scheduled this week and instead of embracing it do you know what I have been doing yesterday and today? Panicking!! Finally yesterday I had to pull myself out of my slump. It took a lot and I almost didn’t do it, but I ripped myself away from the computer and went to the gym. As I am typing this I am in a Hangout on G+ and then I am off to the gym again.

    Thanks Melissa!

    • Melissa Galt says


      Welcome to the party, have to be careful what you ask for, the universe does deliver. I’ve learned that one a time or two myself. Take the deep breathe offered and know that your calender will fill again as soon as you ask it to.

      Hugs, Melissa

  9. says

    Thanks Melissa for the encouraging words and taking the time to care. My pastor taught me as well it is faith and perserverance that will get you to the goal and sustain you in the hard times. I have been in a hard place needing to revamp the vision. Bless you :-)

  10. MamaRed says

    Hi Melissa…what a wonderful way to remind us that we can choose. I tell people all the time “you’re the author of your story, what one will YOU write today.” AND, that said, there are days I find myself forgetting that, especially when I feel like I’ve been knocked around, down and sideways.

    What I’ve learned, and am sooooo grateful for, is that if I stay awake for opportunities to shift, they are there. Maybe they’re dropped in from a woman courageous enough to ask about stranger’s dreams (uh, that would be you, smile), or in a simple smile. Maybe it is an unexpected dime on the ground. When we stay in the space of looking for the support, we’ll find it.

    When we don’t, we don’t see those beautiful signs. When I had two life threatening surgeries, plus complications within 9 months of each other, I really questioned my beliefs. In fact, I screamed and hollered and yelled.

    Yet along the way there have been stories like this one that were my reminders.

    Thanks so much for writing them. Thanks so much for having the courage to be your amazing self.

    love and light, hugs and blessings

    • Melissa Galt says

      Hey MamaRed,

      What a treat to hear from you here. You know I’ve never considered it courageous to query dreams, just that I’m curious and I got that from my mom!

      People are fascinating when you get to know them.

      Hugs, Melssa

  11. Ginger says


    It seems that many of us needed to read what you wrote today. The words, ‘Fear is the absence of Faith’ jumped off the page at me. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the gentle reminder. :)

  12. says

    Melissa, last night I saw an online offer for a free chapter of a new book … with a ‘revolutionary’ title: “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think” by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. It ‘s part of a sales campaign to reach #1 on NYT Bestseller List. But the online reaction was palpable: so many people clamoring for a scintilla of good news. Granted, the first chapter was intriguing … but I hope readers realize the potential is in their OWN belief system, not in someone else’s. And, yes, faith and perseverance are key!

    • Melissa Galt says

      Thanks Sharon,

      Most people want a solution that resides outside themselves. They prefer not to have to take responsibility for their own success and happiness .. .

      Hugs, Melissa

  13. Julie says

    Beautiful and inspiring article, but what to do if you’re that person who has lost faith? It’s easy to tell a person that it is their decision whether or not to be happy when you are not living and breathing their despair. It’s like looking at someone who has been sat upon by an elephant and telling them, “You can get out of there, just squeeze out through this opening that I can see from out here.” Where’s that opening?

    • Melissa Galt says


      No one can give you your opening. They can show you but can’t force you to see it. I have been in the darkest of dark places and no one could help me find my way out. I had to make that decision on my own. The opening is inside you, not outside you. You have to believe it, before you will see it.

      Hugs, Melissa

  14. says

    Wow,how did you read my mind. I have been unemployed for a little over a year, it has not been easy but I keep moving forward. I have my days when I am discouraged but thankfully my good days out weigh my bad ones. This article encouraged me even more to keep moving forward in a positive direction. Thank you!!!!!!

  15. Daryle Harris says

    Melissa: Thanks for the powerful message. I am facing some challenges and needed to be reminded to move forward and to realize that I can do what I need to do and not be afraid of failure! If it happens, I will get up and start again.

    As a new convert, I think you will be an important part in my future and I thank you for sharing your insights.

    God bless…

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