Do you have the guts to fail? I often wonder what life would be like if some of the “greats” didn’t keep going when they hit a wall or failed the first time. I’ve read countless stories about people who could have so easily given up on their giftings because of a setback.
Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was too stupid to learn anything. He went on to hold 1,000 patents and inventions, one being the light bulb. An editor said Walt Disney “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” If he’d listened to that voice, generations would have missed out on some of their greatest childhood memories. Jerry Seinfeld was booed off stage during one of his first stand-ups. Thanks to his resiliency we all get to enjoy re-runs of Seinfeld every night on TV.
So, the question is what are you afraid of failing at? That fear usually points to some of our greatest gifts. I believe that the enemy loves to shut us up, shut us down, and make us stop chasing the calling and talents God places in our hearts. So, we take the criticism, the setbacks, and the inevitable failures of life as “signs” that we should give it up all together, someone else will succeed in this area and take care of it.
What a shame.
I can’t help but sit here wondering how much beauty, creating, speaking, writing, singing, and other forms of talent have grown dormant simply because one person told you that you weren’t good enough, you didn’t have what it takes.
I was never a runner. I bet my high school friends would’ve put several other girls on a list to be running endurance races and triathlons in their 20’s. They certainly wouldn’t have guessed it’d be me signing up for those events.
What situations in your life have quieted the dreams in your heart? My prayer for you today is that you would start to quiet that noise in your mind, and start looking at your desires before the fear set in.
It might not come easily at first, you might fail miserably for a bit. But, I truly believe that everything great in this life comes with some hard fought struggle and doubt, and a fearlessness to chase it anyway.
When I first started teaching fitness classes, I would have panic attacks right before. The enemy told me I was not good at public speaking, nor did I have anything to offer them. Fast forward a few months, and teaching is my greatest passion. I feel inspired and energized by my students, and I know that what I offer holds value to them.
When I began to write and share, I was terrified that no one would listen, or care. I heard things like, “it’s a waste of time,” “you’re not as good as so and so.” A couple months later, here I am sharing some of my most vulnerable attributes.
When I set out to run the half ironman, I knew that my goal of 6 hours and 30 minutes was a hefty one. Almost every other day in training I would remember that, “I wasn’t the athletic child in the family.” Thoughts about my pre-teen clumsiness came back to me, even though it’s been nearly 13 years since then. Despite all my effort, all my hours of work, that voice wanted so badly for me to extinguish my dream, and my new found gift.
Instead, I ran with all my might to that finish line, and I shut it up. Sure, not all days will end like that. I will fail greatly, miss my goal pace by a few minutes, face injury, get a bad review, but my only hope for you and for me is that the chance of something good happening far outweighs the possibility of failure. And, when that failure comes, we would be quick to dust it off, take some notes, and run with fervor once again.