Break the Spell of Frustration

I have unearthed a gem for you that, properly considered, will slingshot you across the no-man’s land of inactivity, doubt and trepidation as you pursue any goal in life. It is simple, yet liberating and revitalizing advice, penned some 75 years ago by Ms. Dorothea Brande:

Act as if it were impossible to fail.

That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right-about-face which turns us from failure towards

Clear out, by an easy imaginative feat, all the distrusts and timidities, all the fears of looking ridiculous which
you may hardly suspect of being treacherous troublemakers in your life. You will find that if you can
imaginatively capture the state of mind which would be yours if you knew you were going towards a
prearranged and inevitable success, the first result will be a tremendous surge of vitality, of freshness. Then
– well, the only way to put it is that it will seem as though your mind gave a great sigh of relief, of gratitude for
the liberation, and stretched itself to its fullest extent. This is the moment where one may be forgiven for
feeling that there is something truly magical about the whole affair. There will appear an extension of
capacity which seems more than normal.

6 thoughts on “Break the Spell of Frustration

  1. Ricardo B.

    That’s great, I can appreciate the simplicity of her statement. I’ve found a similar thing when facing some situation which for whatever reason was making me uncomfortable and thus limiting my ability to move forward with it. Just throw yourself into it with abandon, and just go for it. You gain some quick momentum right away by beginning to move and so you can start learning and gaining some experience in that area. I’ve also found that it’s never as hard or as complicated as I originally thought the situation would be. Our fears and distrusts can easily make mountains out of molehills!


  2. Colin

    I think that the downfall of the cynical is thinking that the world is out to get them, and it is just the lucky ones that become successful. Anyone can be successful, but the right attitude (specifically the attitude you mentioned above) is vital to progress in this area. This allows, even if you do fail in something, to pick yourself back up and continue no matter what the setback, because you don’t see what could be seen by some as a failure as a failure, merely as a setback. And a setback allows for continued forward movement.


  3. Doug

    The only way to completely apply all your capabilities is to move forward with no elements of doubt. It’s not like throwing caution to the wind, it’s about not sabotaging your efforts before they have a chance to mature. Plan your work, work your plan and let the momentum of your belief become your best partner. Excellent post—thanks.


  4. Kimberly

    Thanks for introducing me to this author. I do believe the last word may be written about living a successful life and I want to make sure I’ve read it! It’s a facinating subject. I believe we all have the capability but it starts with individual purpose and recognizing the gifts we’ve been given to fullfill it.


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