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Jan. 8, 2021

050 - Re-Defining Success and Failure

050 -  Re-Defining Success and Failure

Welcome to The Fully Lived Life podcast! A podcast for those who are longing to pursue the full life and want to break free from anything that holds them back. Listen in as two friends - a psychologist, Dr. Merry and a life coach, Gillian - talk about life, love and purpose - with wisdom, humour and transparency -  through the lens of science, psychology, and life experiences.


How do you define success? How do you define failure? This episode came out of a fascinating read of a woman who sets up experiments that she knows will fail because she wants to learn the lessons from failure to help her move toward success. How many of us are so failure averse that we will not try something new because we are fearful of failure?

In the past year (2020) can we look back and take a good honest look at our “failures” and what they may teach us? Gillian reached out to listeners to ask the question “Has the pandemic shifted your view of success?”  Listen in as she shares the responses from a variety of people.

So What:

If we are operating out of a thin definition of failure and success we may be doing ourselves a great disservice. Can we honour our failure and learn from it?

Now What:

Therapeutic Tip from Dr. Merry:

Let’s reframe what we consider success to include “psychological well-being”.

Current research has identified six elements that make up psychological well-being:

  1. Self-acceptance: a positive and acceptant attitude toward aspects of self in the past and present
  2. Purpose in life: goals and beliefs that affirm a sense of direction and meaning in life
  3. Autonomy: self-direction as guided by one’s own socially accepted internal standards
  4. Positive relations with others: having satisfying personal relationships in which empathy and intimacy are expressed
  5. Environmental mastery: the capability to manage the complex environment according to one’s own needs
  6. Personal growth: the insight into one’s own potential for self-development

Do a quick self-assessment on which of these areas you’re making inroads into. And what you still need to develop. This is not meant to be a quick fix or a check list of what you’re supposed to do but a shift in your mindset of how you can define success and also grow in that. As long as we’re growing in one of these areas, we are pursuing “success”.

Life Coaching tip from Gillian:

Revisit your values - if you don’t know them visit Gilian’s website for a free PDF download.

Success in life is tied to our deeply held values. Are you operating out of your values?

Instead of setting resolutions this 2021 how about revisiting our values and checking in with ourselves if we are in or out of alignment with them. The view is always to be honest with ourselves through the lens of self compassion.


Dr. Merry’s book: https://amzn.to/2rCrJyI

Dr. Merry’s videos: https://bit.ly/377eFR0

Dr. Merry’s website: https://drmerry.com

Dr. Lin & Associates: http://drlinandassociates.com

Gillian’s Website: https://gillianmcshane.com