How to overcome setbacks & failures

I'm going to tell you a story

and I think we can all relate to it in some way

During a research experiment a marine biologist placed a shark into a large holding tank and then released several small bait fish into the tank.

As you would expect, the shark quickly swam around the tank, attacked and ate the smaller fish.


The marine biologist then inserted a strong piece of clear fiberglass into the tank, creating two separate partitions.

She then put the shark on one side of the fiberglass and a new set of bait fish on the other.

Again, the shark quickly attacked.

This time, however, the shark slammed into the fiberglass divider and bounced off.

Undeterred, the shark kept repeating this behavior every few minutes with no luck.

Meanwhile, the bait fish swam around unharmed in the second partition.

Eventually, about an hour into the experiment, the shark gave up.

This experiment was repeated several dozen times over the next few weeks.

Each time, the shark got less aggressive and made fewer attempts to attack the bait fish, until eventually the shark got tired of hitting the fiberglass divider and simply stopped attacking altogether.

The marine biologist then removed the fiberglass divider, but the shark didn’t attack.

The shark was trained to believe a barrier existed between it and the bait fish, so the bait fish swam wherever they wished, free from harm.

The moral of this story: Many of us, after experiencing setbacks and failures, emotionally give up and stop trying.

Like the shark in the story, we believe that because we were unsuccessful in the past, we will always be unsuccessful.

In other words, we continue to see a barrier in our heads, even when no ‘real’ barrier exists between where we are and where we want to go.


So what if you fail a few times, it'll make you stronger and take you one step closer than you were before because you'll learn from each mistake you make.

Throughout our failures we have a choice!!!

We can give up, turn back and run away from what scares us most or we can charge straight towards it head on.

What do you choose to do today?