Mar 20, 2018
I have failed so many times, I can't count them all. If I did count them, I'd probably curl up and roll away.
In the spirit of the year of imperfections, I thought it would be a good idea to start off with the fact that, just like everyone else on the face of this planet, I make mistakes. Just like you, I fail.
In no particular order, here are some of the ways in which I have failed.
I have failed as a student.
I have failed as a daughter.
I have failed as a sister.
I have failed as a friend.
I have failed as a wife.
I have failed as a mother.
I have failed as an employee.
I have failed as a Christian.
In everything I have done, I have failed.
By the grace of God, in some things, I have persevered and succeeded, although, I failed my way there. Sometimes, I fail more and, eventually, get to that finish line, stumbling the whole way. Every now and then, there is success that seems to come a little more easily. Regardless, of how I arrive, a success is a success. It is enjoyed, appreciated and quickly forgotten. Which, I believe, happens to be a reason that we continue to fail. We forget that we can succeed.
Wait. What? Yes. Sometimes I succeed at something and then forget. I forget the hard work that went into it. I forget the failures that stacked up to get me there. I forget what I learned on my way to the finish. I forget how long it took and how I felt discouraged and encouraged all in the span of a few minutes.
I remember the failure and, on top of that, I think that others remember the failure, as well.
One of the reasons for doing this, I think, is that it is easier to believe the negative, rather than the positive. Believing I'll fail is far less of a risk than believing I'll succeed. Remembering failure seems to be a default setting for some and a protection against risk. But, if we don't risk, we won't succeed. If we don't take that leap, we won't make it across that great divide between failure and success. We must leap. We must risk.
How do we break free from the negative? The more we listen to the negative, the more we will hear the negative rather than the positive, which leads me to another reason we forget the success and remember the failure.
Unfortunately, in this world, we must seek out the positive. We must go find those encouraging, inspiring voices that say, "Yes, you can!". It is up to us to keep looking up, seeking truth and pressing onward and so doing, find others who are searching for the positive, the good, the truth. When we find them, we listen! The more we listen, the more those voices will drown out the negative and push you towards your goal.
We must change our belief that we will fail. We must consciously move forward, reminding ourselves that we will succeed. How do we do this? We look back to the successes in our lives. We all have them! Whether it's a physical, personal, educational, spiritual or relational success, there's one in your past, I guarantee it! In fact, if you're reading this, guess what. You learned to read. At one time, you did not know how and now look. You can read. That is no small achievement. You probably walk, talk and do many other things, as well, that you easily dismiss as no big deal. But they are successes and you can build upon them. Think of them all - a graduation, completion of a challenge, a promotion, a race finish, an award, etc. Reflect on them and store up those feelings of accomplishment and success. Use them to move forward, out of failure and towards success. Accept failure as a part of success.
Are you holding back from something you want to do?
Are you on the verge of quitting something, instead of continuing to plug along, doing those things each day that will compound into future success?
Are you afraid to fail?
What if the finish, the success, the reward is just around the corner, so close that you can hear the spectators cheering, but you can't actually see the finish, so you quit?
Again, failure is a part of success. Sometimes, it is a big part of success. Are you willing to go through the failure, learn from it and keep going? Are you willing to work through failure, possibly multiple failures, in order to reach your goal? If you are, then it's all worth it. Keep on keepin' on, hang tough and do not give up.
If you are looking back at your failures, for longer than it takes to learn from them, stop! Count your successes. Remind yourself that you CAN! Pick out an achievement, or two, and hang out there for a bit. Stay there long enough to gather some courage and determination that you can succeed again. Then, go find some positive influences. Read, listen, watch those who will bring you encouragement, motivation and knowledge. Get out there and get it done. Go for it! Leap! You just might nail that landing.
I have failed in the past and will fail in the future. I am probably failing at something today, but, hopefully, my successes outweigh the failures. I am going to keep on keepin' on, seeking truth and believing that I can do it.
Leap with me,