ACT and Failure and Success

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!

Q:  How can I cope with failure?

A:  View it as a necessary precursor to success!

Image result for inspirational picture quotes eddison

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was, “too stupid to learn anything.”  He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.”  As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb.  When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times.  The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”  What a wonderful attitude!

No wonder Edison went on to become one of the greatest inventors of all time.  He didn’t look on failure as a problem.  He viewed it as a necessary pre-cursor to success!

Would that we all could do the same.  What a difference that would make in our lives.  Instead of running away from the risk of failure we would be able to welcome it with open arms, to look on it with anticipation as an opportunity for a lovely learning curve.

Unfortunately, if you are like me then you are no Thomas Edison.  Rather than regarding failure as a welcome guest you more likely grew up, as I did, regarding it as a dirty word.  For me failure has always been flooded with negativity, something to be avoided at all costs.  Rather than being prepared to try and fail, too often I haven’t dared to try at all.  With this attitude there is no room for the lovely learning curves that failure offers.  Our lives become smaller as a result.  What a shame.

ACT encourages us to be careful with language.  “Failure” is only a word, a series of letters, a sound.  It is we who imbue it with meaning.  My reaction to the word “failure” is completely different to that of Edison.  We are literally poles apart!  But when we invest too much meaning into words we can hurt ourselves.  This is where Defusion can help.  When we remember that words are just sounds, thoughts are just strings of words that we make up, we can start to take them less seriously.  We can become more flexible.  This is a good thing!

I wrote “LOVELY LEARNING CURVES” to remind me of that.


  • Are you able to see the difference between a word and the meaning you give it?
  • Are you aware of the messages that you send yourself?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.





Let us have a new beginning, let us make a brand-new start,

Let’s approach a fresh whatever with a quickening of the heart,

And let’s send ourselves sweet messages of encouragement and good cheer,

Tell ourselves that we are for us now whatever happens here.

Let’s prepare ourselves for pitfalls, yes there’ll be the odd time when

We’ll revert to negativity, but we can rise again

Reinforced by lovely learning curves that each new failure brings

When we’re willing to look for the treasures hidden in these things.

For a failure’s not a failure when we view it in this way,

It is just another thing we’ve learned that didn’t work today,

But it’s on the back of failure that success comes finally

And if we stick around for long enough success we’ll surely see.

And so, let’s have a new beginning, let us make that brand-new start,

And let us not retreat defeated, let’s be stout and strong of heart,

Because we’re braver than our gravest fears, great things can still be ours

When we remember, we are human beings, with unimagined powers.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “LOVELY LEARNING CURVES” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

When I first came to ACT I remember being very impressed by the importance that it attached to language.  In fact, I remember reading alot about the difficulties that language can create for human beings.  Although it is one of our greatest gifts, our use of language also has the capacity to do us much harm.  Somewhere along the way I have forgotten alot of what I learned back then.  So I thought it was high time to take a refresher, to remind myself of what I once knew!

Amongst other interesting articles, I came across a piece written by Rob Archer entitled, you’ve guessed it, “The Dangers of Language“.  Just what I was looking for!  Rob reminds us of:

“one of the most powerful lessons within contextual behavioural science; that part of our lives (or ‘context’) is shaped by the words that we use to describe it.”

I found the article really helpful, a great reminder that:

“if we get it wrong, language has the capacity to sell us a version of life that is not particularly accurate or helpful and which may leave us feeling shortchanged.”

I have a feeling I shall be reading more of Rob’s stuff in the days to come!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes


Published by

Corinne Shields

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, erstwhile teacher for thirty plus years, and permanent student. I have long been interested in psychology and spirituality and enjoy writing inspirational poetry. Hence the publication of this blog at ACT Made I play golf badly, piano a little better and I love reading, writing, and all things French. I divide my time between Wales and France and enjoy travelling with my husband, Len and my dog Charlie.

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