Time to see that failure is a part of living and learning and failing is ok

 Everyone in life will have obstacles that can hinder success

 I truly believe that your view on what an obstacle is will determine if you will and the ability to overcome them. The most successful people I know realise that an obstacle is just that. It is a mental object that needs to be navigated, it is not an unmovable block. 

Gethin Jones Unlocking Potential in Nelson Unit HMPYOII was once told by a very wise man to imaging an obstacle as a wall. This wall has the ability to block your view and entrap you. He then said ‘Gethin, a wall is just an obstacle and you can always find a way to go over it, around it, under it or through it. This has stayed with me and today I feel there is nothing I can’t overcome. I am not unique this can be your truth too. 

My number one first obstacle was my childhood trauma. Growing up in the family I grew up in and then going into the care system had a huge effect on me. This led me to going into my teenage years feeling lost and confused. My trauma led me to mistrust everyone and everything. This thinking led me to make poor decisions and develop destructive behaviours. It was these behaviours that lead me to my first prison sentence at the tender age of 14. This experience pushed me further down a dark path and I soon started to sniff glue, drink alcohol and spend time in and out of secure children’s homes. 

In 1987 I walked out of Nelson wing HMPYOI Portland, I was 16 and this was the full stop on my childhood. Little did I know that my experiences as a child was going to lead to a twenty-year self-district. I spent 8 years behind a prison wall, became a dependent heroin user, spent time in homeless hostels and hurt anyone that showed me love and care.

It was at this time I stood up, something inside screamed and told me I was not going to let this be my end. 


In the year 2000 I remember entering HMP Winchester for the umpteenth time. I was physically and mentally broken. I was withdrawing from Heroin, Alcohol, benzos and crack cocaine. Gethin Jones Unlocking Potential at this point inside he is asking is this it, is this all my life will ever be? I saw my reflection and did not recognise the person looking back at me. I knew I was dying and if things did not change, I would become another drug related death. 

It was at this time I stood up, something inside screamed and told me I was not going to let this be my end. I started to look for a solution to my problems. I started to ask for help, but more importantly I started to accept the help being offered. I then started a journey of discovery that lasted 6 years.

Reading this you may think 6 years, I can’t wait this long to create success. The answer to this is that it took me 6 years to get to a point where I could function as a human being. That was the finished product so to speak. Over that 6 years I had many successes that meant that I could keep moving forward. I was able to look back reflect and see how I was growing. The looking back helped me to see that all I was doing now was going to lead to a great new future. Today I know that my biggest obstacle was always me, today I see things differently and I see myself as my number one best asset, as like you we can all be anything I want to be. 

So, lets now talk about how we can turn failure into success.

I would have to say that the first thing you need to do is change your narrative on the word failure. I don’t see myself as a failure, but I recognise that I failed many times. The true definition of failure in my view is not to try at all. 

Let’s look at failing, many people fear failure. They avoid doing anything new or trying to develop themselves. It is the fear of failing that stunts them it is this fear that will hold them back. I don’t have any fear of failing in fact I embrace it as I use fail in this context 

  • First
  • Attempt
  • In 
  • Learning

This quote from James Dyson who created the Dyson Hoover sums this up

I made 5,127 prototypes of my vacuum before I got it right. There were 5,126 failures. But I learned from each one. That’s how I came up with a solution. So, I don’t mind failure.

James Dyson


Within your life you would have made many mistakes (Failed), these mistakes (failures) are your biggest lessons but they will only be that if you take the learning from them. You like me have a wealth of experience that can lead you to become the greatest version of you.

Would change anything from my past?

I have spoken many times about mistakes and failures and every time I’m asked if I would change anything from my past. My answer is always the same ‘no’, as I am only the person I am today because of the life and experiences I have had. If I took one of them away, I would not be who I am today. My greatest failures have led to my greatest successes. 


My final message and takeaway to you is this. During your life you have had many battles. You would have developed a wealth of Strength, Courage and Resilience. Tapping into these will be what drives you forward. You will soon see the obstacles that you leave in your wake, you will start to grow and internal belief and a knowledge that anything is possible. 

If you would like to know more about shifting mindset that can create success, then you may be interested in a book I have written a book called Unconscious Incarceration. This can be purchased on Amazon for £10.99  https://amzn.to/2O5wVBg


Gethin Jones Unlocking Potential signing copies of book Unconscious Incarceration https://amzn.to/2O5wVBg

Please share this blog with those it may help and together we can those that need it💙👊🏻💙

Please also leave comments below 


  • Sharon Dorkings

    Very good

  • Thank you Sharon,

    Could I ask why you thought it was very good and if it resonated with you?

    Thank you for taking the time to comment

  • Sharon Dorkings

    What you have described to Gethin is a journey of self discovery. Many people don’t realise that they can conquer obstacles that they come across in their life, it takes a good level of understanding to know that you can. For example, when you were 14, and then going in and out of prison, and with your addiction, at that time, your mindset was not one of being able to overcome obstacles but you gained insight over time, which led to clarity and ability to create your freedom, and I use the word freedom in the sense of mindset and physical.

  • That’s great and thank you for sharing your thoughts💙👊🏻💙

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