What do you think Diana Nyad would say if you asked her if she had failed in her other attempts to reach Florida from Cuba? She's very smart so I don't know what her real answer would be but my answer would be that it depends on what you mean. Do you mean, "did I not succeed in actually swimming all the miles from Cuba to the Florida shore" she would probably say "no I did not swim the distance those other four times BUT I did not fail".
As usual with words there are several definitions in the dictionary. Here's one for failure: "omission of occurrence or performance" - so by that standard and to answer the strict question of did she swim to the other shore, the answer would be no and that was a failure.
But here's another definition of failure: "a subnormal quantity or quality" - All of her attempts were anything BUT subnormal. She has attempted more than most of us could even conceive of - that is not subnormal. Diana Nyad is very much supernormal!
Do we really care about the dictionary definitions? Not really. Because it's your outlook that means everything in life. Your outlook reflects your attitude, your vibrational state. And it's your vibrations that determine your outcome in life.
How do you look at things? How do you view what happens when you attempt something? Is your feeling and attitude dependent on the outcome - is your day measured by how well you stuck to your diet, by the number on the scale, etc? We use numbers so often to determine whether we succeeded at something. And worse yet we do it subconsciously because it's been so ingrained in us. I noticed that last week when I was doing my long run. I was feeling good about the run, I felt happy and was really enjoying everything. Then I glanced at my GPS (to see the distance but my eyes caught the time) and when I saw the time (a number) I was bummed out big time. If I had not been paying attention to how I reacted to things I would have let that one number ruin my entire day and run. How stupid could I be? How often do we do that? Instead of focusing on the good and the fun and the progress, I was about to focus on a stupid number as an artificial measure of my success or failure. I have to say that that's pathetic (and this will be a big part of learning to hand our emotions surrounding weight in my upcoming coaching program). Fortunately because I had been attuned to this "number" issue over the past few weeks, I decided to do some EFT and get the concept that I failed out of my head and go back to enjoying the great day!
Diana's strategy, techniques and equipment changed with each attempt. I imagine some of her training may also have changed during the hiatus between jumps into the Cuban waters. But more importantly she noticed what she experienced that adversely affected her while she was on the swim and analyzed it to see what could be changed and then set about changing it. She took a medication for a sore shoulder that caused her to have an asthma attack. She investigated that and found the medications that she could take without having problems. She had already researched how to deal with the danger of sharks but I imagine that has even improved over the attempts, how to get hydrated and fed was most likely refined all this time (especially after swimming longer and being seasick and having all the salt water ingested), how to handle bites and stings were dissected and analyzed. And as you know, great research with many groups of people went into fighting the box jellyfish and they were finally conquered (thanks in part to Mother Nature).
Diana also went deep within to find ways to continue to swim in the face of hallucinations and sleep deprivation and immense fatigue. She created mantras ("Find a Way") and the one I like the most - she used one hand to pull Florida toward her when stroking up and the other hand pushed Cuba behind her with the other direction stroke. How clever that was.
She also beefed up her social media team and they did an outstanding job during the swim. That not only generated more people following her but also kept those devoted followers (like me who was pretty much glued to the computer all weekend) constantly informed - much different than the other attempts.
All of these are successes - in no way can they be considered failures. Perhaps the only "failure" would have been to not try again this time. Everything else was training and she took all the results and made something special and positive of them!
Take a look at things you've considered failures in your life. Change your outlook and your vibrations regarding them and see what successes came out of them. Remember that everything always works out for you!