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Flush Your Drains

Flush your drains

We all experience many defeats in our lives. Most people fail not because they lack knowledge or talent but because they just quit. But we must never quit.


Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.
– Winston Churchill –


Defeats and failures happen often whether in our personal lives, our business, our career or our relationships. I meet so many people who want to change or follow a dream, but they lack the conviction to change or to pursue that dream.

People who lack conviction always take the middle of the road. But what happens in the middle of the road? Yup, you get run over! 

People without conviction “go along to get along” because they lack confidence and courage. They conform to others’ opinions to gain acceptance, even when they know that what they are doing is not right for them.

Yes, you may have failed once, twice, even three times, but you are not a failure until you stop trying. So do not label yourself a failure. Instead, practice what I call flushing the drains on failure.

Drains are the energy sappers that steal your energy and stop you when you bump or run into an obstacle. They are the reason so many give up even when they could be so close to winning.

I describe the “DRAINS” on our energy using this acronym. 

 DDisappointment that shifts to self-pity.

This is the most destructive & self-punishing emotion. Self-pity gets you nowhere. It turns you into a victim. You must have the courage to accept yourself with pride and strive to present the best of you. It is all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just do not get comfortable and be sure to flush away forever when you are finished. 


Rage is caused by a conviction, for example when we think “Why me?” “Why does this always happen to me?” “Why not others?”

We allow frustration to contaminate our emotions, like a cancerous acid that only causes harm to the person in which it is stored and will eventually eat the host. Now we know for certain that rage cannot enter the soul except through the door of consent. We allow it in. So shut that door!

A – Attitude. 

We too often set low expectations when in fact the only constraint is our own mind. The only difference between success and failure is our willingness, agility, and ability to act. The attitude to dream, to imagine great things, ‘to drive an attitude of can do’ is the only thing that separates dreamers from those who accomplish great things. So, I say flush that small A away and build a big A (Attitude) that is open engaging, and can do.

I Internal Self-talk.

When we let the expectations of others or our own unreasonable self-expectations rule, we silence the power of our legacies. Do not put yourself down, there are plenty out there willing do that for you if you allow them. The only person who is truly holding you back is you.  No more excuses. It is time to change. Flush away that internal chatter that controls you. 


If being positive is difficult for you, there is a good chance you are allowing too much negativity into your life. You will never be genuinely happy if you continuously hold on to the things that make you sad. Let things go and move on.  Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power. 


Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your handbrake on. Poor self-esteem is a lack of self-respect and self-worth. People with low self-confidence are constantly trying to find themselves rather than creating the person they want to be. Now, most people will want to flush their drains but will not really do it. Why?

They will PROCRASTINATE, which is a way of protecting themselves from the possibility of failure.  Procrastination is a defense mechanism our subconscious mind uses. If you never get started, you cannot fail. Getting an idea should be like sitting on a pin, it should make you jump up and do something.  So, try new approaches. If you keep doing the same thing repeatedly you will get the same result every time, nothing will change. 

Winners might analyse, but they never rationalise. Losers rationalize and have a book full of excuses to tell you why they could not succeed.

You must build on failure and use it as a stepping stone to your goal. Close the door on the past. Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker.  Failing is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure! So, flush those things that stop you. Remember that failure is not the opposite of success. It is Part of Success!


I can take you to success. I coach ordinary people every day to do extra-ordinary things. I coach extra-ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things. The difference is those who have a dream, and are prepared to follow said dream, are extraordinary, and just need a structure and support system to kick off that journey, which will finish with them sliding in fast sideways to the grave, totally worn out from the relentless living of their dreams, screaming out loudly “Wow holy sh*t, what a ride!”

If that is you – start today! If you are looking for coaching on change for yourself or your organisation, or would like more information on the work we do on Personal, Professional, or Organisational Change, please contact us on

About Dr Maurice Duffy

Irish. Author, Professor, Coach and Business strategist. The person Australian Captain Steve Smith credited with helping him back from his cricket ban. Coach to two Ashes wins. Coach to CEOs, Politicians and some of the best know international sports starts including Olympians. BBC ‘Thought for the Week’. Coached business leaders and organizations in 80 countries. Works with charities to do with Mental Health. Lives in North East England with his wife and 11-year-old son.