Feelings of failure…
If we aren’t failing, then we aren’t trying.
Recently, I’ve accepted many challenging and new opportunities that pushed me so far out of my comfort zone. It would have been easy to say no but we are guaranteed to fail if we never even try.
I believe that everything happens for a reason, so I’m not trying to defy what is meant to be.
But what happens when something that you work hard for, put passion and energy into, that aligns with your goals doesn’t work out? It isn’t always easy to say “well it just wasn’t meant to be”.
It’s ok to say “This FREAKING sucks”. It is ok to be frustrated and disappointed.
Maybe you searched for hours on Pinterest for your daughter’s birthday party, spent late nights and a lot of money making it happen, and everything turned out to be a complete disaster. Are you supposed to just brush it off? Or is it ok to acknowledge the fact that you failed and now you feel the repercussions of that.
Maybe you apply for a job that seems perfect, you nail the interview, get a call back, but something falls through and you don’t actually get the job. Are you just supposed to brush that off and pretend to be good with it?
I’m pretty sure that we aren’t actually human unless we fail at something. There are small failures and there are BIG failures and life is full of both.
This is so hard for me to say, but I’m here to tell you that I am a complete failure. There are things that I am not very good at. Admitting that, out loud, to the world is not easy. It’s vulnerable and scary, but I want you to know that perfection is not realistic. And the people who make things look perfect are probably the ones who are failing the most. I know that because I used to be that girl. The one that was good at everything.
When I was a little girl, I really wanted to play softball. When I mentioned it to my mom, she had her doubts because I was a girly girl, but she signed me up anyway. The first day on the field, I was a natural. I loved the game and I was really good at it. It was easy and I didn’t have to try hard to make any All Star teams or win state championships. I continued to play softball throughout middle school and I made the high school softball team in 9th grade. I was taking pitching lessons, going to practice, doing well in all of the games… but I wasn’t even trying. Eventually I just quit. I had the potential to be offered a college scholarship for softball but I never even gave myself the chance because I decided that I didn’t want to put the time or effort into showing up at practice or games anymore. I didn’t value the opportunity because I took my talent for granted.
Our experiences shape our perspective, and maybe the fact that I never let myself fail is the reason why I am struggling so much right now.
And maybe that’s the point. We cannot grow within our comfort zone. We cannot succeed unless we try. We can’t truly appreciate our success if we don’t earn it.
So for those of you reading this, thinking about something in your life that you really want to try… I say GO FOR IT! Maybe you will put your heart and soul into it, only to be completely crushed. Or maybe you will exceed your expectations and soar! How will you ever know what the outcome will be if you don’t ever begin?
As you take time to reflect on your choices this year and set resolutions for 2017, give yourself the opportunity to fail! Set goals so high that you know you will not achieve all of them. Give yourself grace for making the effort and don’t let any of your failures become final.
God has a plan for you that is so much bigger than you can imagine, but He cannot bless our lives if we aren’t prepared to multiply our talents.
The parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30 indicates that we will be blessed if we invest the gifts we are given, but it never reveals how many times those servants failed. I have to assume that it happened, because great rewards aren’t received without great risk. The only servant who was reprimanded was the one who didn’t even try.
As I study that parable and seek to understand God’s will, I realize that our Savior’s infinite Atonement is the guarantee that we will never truly fail at anything. The difference between success and failure will always be accounted for. I am so grateful for the opportunity to fail and for a loving Father in Heaven who has given us a Savior to atone (compensate) for our shortcomings. With that knowledge, why do we still fear failure? Instead, let’s embrace it and try to fail again 💗