Success and Failure or The Brain That Won’t Shut Up

by Sherry Riter in Attitude,Self-Development  

Outside there is darkness. The house is silent, interrupted suddenly by not one, but two alarms. One belting out Travis Tritt’s “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive” and the other a Big Ben windup that is relentlessly clanging it’s bells.

Since I hid the alarms from myself the night before, I am desperately trying to find them in order to shut off the loud sounds. I trip over my slippers and run into the corner of the dresser while frantically feeling for the clocks in the darkness.

Between the pain, noise and increased activity, I begin to awaken. Finally remembering where I hid the alarms, I turn them both off and at the same time the realization settles around me that a new day has begun.

Without any rational thoughts, I walk into the shower and let the hot water cascade over my body to wash away the sleepiness. Slowly I begin to feel invigorated and awake. That’s when it hits me. All at one time, the thoughts bombard my mind and begin to assure me that it is impossible to accomplish my tasks.

Hopelessness surrounds me and I feel like I have failed the day before I have even begun.

At this moment, I determine if the day is going to be a success or failure. Obviously, I am alive which is more than millions of others can say, so I need to take advantage of that fact.

Not only am I alive, but I have opportunities waiting just for me. No one can fill my shoes like I can because they are my shoes. I have a unique set of qualities to offer my family, friends, co-workers, employer, neighbors, etc. Someone else could do all the things I do, but not exactly like me. There is only one me and there is only one you.

Are you poised for success or failure?

To be frank, my brain just isn’t working like it used to before 2010 pummeled me. It has affected every aspect of my life. I feel like a failure. I totally understand why I am the way that I am, but it doesn’t help with the overwhelming emotion that screams inside my head at least one hundred thousand times a day, “You are failing!” That voice has become quite aggravating, annoying and convincing.

Success feels elusive. Failure feels inevitable.

All day long I fight the voice, the trauma from life’s experiences, and the changes in my life. I feel that at any given moment, I will lose the battle and drown. This thought is immediately followed by, “and no one will even miss you because you are no good, not talented, stupid and worthless.”

My brain then argues that this is foolish thinking and I guess the other part of my brain is telling me it is the total truth.

I know that I am not the only one who has these feelings and thoughts. Your brain may not argue with you as much as mine, but you still have thoughts of self-doubt and fear. In one form or another, we all must fight the demons in our mind and it is a battle we must win. Inside each of us there is unreleased potential for greatness. Don’t laugh. I’m serious.

Let’s take Ben Franklin as an example. On January 17, 1706, Ben Franklin was born. Let’s suppose that he decided to give up on life after any one of the following catastrophes:

  • 1723 Ben’s brother is jailed
  • 1724 his father would not loan Ben money to start a print shop
  • 1724 gets stranded in London
  • 1727 suffers first pleurisy attack
  • 1728 has an illegitimate son
  • 1739 Ben’s house was robbed
  • 1745 his father died

Was it important that he persevered? I think I hear a resounding positive affirmation? Playing the devil’s advocate, I might ask, “Why?” to which you would cite that in 1746, Ben begins extensive electrical experiments which would eventually lead to many scientific discoveries that make our lives much easier. Right now I’m valuing my bifocal glasses and the electricity that is running everything in my house just to name a few. Thank you so much Ben!

So if Benjamin Franklin decided that he wanted to give up living or trying anything new at the age of forty based on the heartache caused from all the trauma he suffered, I would not be able to see well or have any electricity and you wouldn’t either!

If you didn’t know all the things that would happen in the latter half of Benjamin Franklin’s life, would you have been so quick to answer that you thought he shouldn’t have given up?

There is not an age when we can say, “I’m useless” or “I’m no longer needed.” Each day offers another opportunity to learn, grow, share, teach, love, and succeed. We will have moments that we fail, but one must know the bitter in order to taste the sweet. I can’t believe I just typed that sentence.

When that alarm starts ringing in the morning, it is imperative that you believe in yourself. If it is impossible, take it one minute at a time. Talk to yourself with positive messages such as “I CAN do this” and “I am smart enough to succeed today.” If that doesn’t work, try “Life will get easier and this horrible situation will end.”

One of my favorite quotes is always floating in the back of mind whenever the going gets tough.


“Success consists of going from
failure to failure
without loss of enthusiasm.”

~Winston Churchill~


In the morning, Travis Tritt and Big Ben will make their appointed disruption into my peaceful sleep and I will endure the pain of the bedroom furniture jumping out to attack me. Shortly thereafter, the battle between the voices of success and failure will begin in my head.

The only way to make it through the day will require that I reassure myself that failures are necessary and eventually lead to successes. My positive attitude can take me through this life to an end that will make my descendants proud.

Will it be my Success or Failure?

Will it be your Success or Failure?

The Redhead Riter


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Janette@Janette's Sage December 6, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Good post!!! We have told our children it isn't the falling that causes failure…it is not getting back up.
Thanks for the encouraging word…as I look to closing out this year and into next!


2 Gail December 7, 2010 at 12:36 am

I always thought, if I wasn't messing up, I wasn't doing much.

Great post!


3 EmptyNester December 7, 2010 at 1:51 am

I'm going for success! Always!


4 Joan December 7, 2010 at 3:16 am

Redhead Riter, every time you publish a post on your blog — you are a success, because you have been driven to share your thoughts and your feelings with people who get joy and insight out of reading you.

You might think you are a failure, but I think you are way to hard on yourself. How can you be a failure when you already do so much?


5 Holly December 7, 2010 at 3:41 am

Just what I need today. Thanks!



6 jen December 7, 2010 at 4:21 am

Excellent post.

Your brain sounds a lot like mine…only better:)
So many days I it says…"it's not working, your plan in life is just not working.

When you said "no one can fill my shoes like I can because they are my shoes"
That is very true..I will remember that.


7 Paula & Skip December 7, 2010 at 10:31 am

red, I named this voice:
Mrs. Patronizing Know It All
Belittling, critizing, head shaking and so fort. By now I have a better relation with her. I now hear more her warning me of a risk ot big and not so much anymore all the belittling. That is a huge success for me. Over at my personal blog I wrote about some parts of me struggling hard:

Joan is right. I feel too you are incredible hard on yourself. It is easy to be nice to oneself in good time but so much more important in diificult times. Not only knowing how to walk in ones shoes but truly and loyally being your own best friend.
Love from my heart to yours


8 Teresha@Marlie and Me December 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Aren't we all our worst critics?! If you use family, friends, and faith as the measures of success you are a very accomplished lady!


9 lightsinthemidst December 8, 2010 at 12:19 am

You are an awesome lady, put a bucket over the naysayer and let your little redlight shine on! I am glad you are here to help us all through our days. You are a success!


Leave a Comment

"How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment
when we realize we have discovered a friend."

~William E. Rothschild~

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I respond back to all comments.


Previous post:

Next post: