How to Fail With Dignity
by Les D. Crause
"I failed again today. I wasn't planning to, but it happened anyway just like it always does."
Does that sound familiar? Have you been there and doing that?
The chances are that if this is the way you are living, you are subject to the 3D's. What are the 3D's? They are discouragement, despair and depression that you experience every time you fail.
Well this is an old habit that you are going to get rid of now. You will have to break free of this because it is robbing you of your joy in life.
The first thing you need to realize is that failure is a fact of life. Apart from the Lord Jesus Himself, nobody yet has lived a perfect life and nobody has escaped failure. And actually if truth be told, even Jesus had some failures. He had His 12 disciples and Judas failed. Judas was a failure.
You say, "Well what did Jesus do wrong?"
Jesus didn't do anything wrong, but He still failed with Judas. And very often failure is something that is totally out of your control. It is quite simply a step towards success.
Now some successes actually have more steps to them, and so there are more failures you will have to go through to get there.
I am sure you have heard many times the illustration that is used out there of Thomas Edison and his perfecting the light bulb; how it took him 1 000 times or whatever it was of failed experiments before he got it right. But he didn't stop until he succeeded. And each one of those 1 000 times that he failed, was actually one more step towards the final success when he perfected the light bulb.
Every single person in this life who has accomplished anything has had to go through a certain number of steps that are required to reach that point of success. And each one of them was a failure, because every time you try something and you don't reach your goal you failed didn't you?
Now instead of sitting wallowing in despair and discouragement, and getting into a cycle of depression, you need to get up and take the next step and then the next step. It is like climbing stairs until eventually you reach the top.
So how do you move out of this habit of getting into the 3D's? How do you learning how to recognize each failure as another step to success?
Admit Your Failure
Here is the first thing that you need to do when you fail. You need to admit that you failed.
Say, "Okay I missed it. I did something wrong. I failed to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish."
Don't try and make excuses for it. Don't pretend it didn't happen, and don't blame somebody else.
Once you have admitted you have failed, don't get into a scenario of condemnation. Don't condemn yourself and say,
"I'm just miserable. I'm useless. I'm just not capable of anything so I might as well give up."
If you do this you are well on your way to the 3D's. By the same token don't try and blame somebody else and say,
"Well you know I would have got it done if that person had done their bit. If she hadn't done that, and if he hadn't interrupted and interfered, I would have got it done. It's not my fault. I couldn't help it. It's somebody else's fault."
We try and justify ourselves and make excuses and put the blame on somebody else.
If you are not sure exactly why you failed, ask the Lord for revelation. The Bible says in James 1:5:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask from God, who gives to all [men] liberally, and does not find fault; and it will be given to him.
Identify Habit Patterns
Ask the Lord for wisdom. Ask Him to show you where you failed and why it happened. Then identify what it is that you did wrong. And identify whether perhaps this is a habit that you have developed over time.
Maybe you have a bad habit that kicks in every time you try and do something. You find yourself doing that habit without even realizing it. And before you know it, that bad habit that you have is causing you to not succeed, and so you fail.
If you have a bad habit you need to work out a new one. Because you see you can't stop one habit unless you replace it with another habit. So if you have found your bad habit, find the better thing to do and start creating a new habit in its place.
Start practicing that new habit and do it continually on a daily basis. It is going to take you time, because it took you a long time to develop that habit in the first place. But if you just keep working at it, gradually you will find that the old habit starts to fade away. It doesn't happen instantly, but it will start to fade away and the new one will start to take its place.
Then one day you will wake up suddenly realizing,
"You know what? I don't have that bad habit anymore. I'm not doing it that way anymore. I am practicing the new habit."
And you know the amazing thing? You may suddenly find that you don't fail quite as often as you did. And maybe you are reaching your goal of success a lot more quickly.
In the meantime when you fail, stop there and say,
"Okay, this is one more step towards my goal. Let me pick myself up and take the next step and the next step."
If you can really push yourself you can say,
"I don't care if I have to go through 1 000 failures, but I am going to reach my goal."
If you have that determination to succeed and push through, eventually you will overcome and conquer this failure habit. And you will conquer your tendency to get into the 3D's.
Go and practice it and give it a try and you will be amazed at how easily you can succeed.
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