Failure: It’s Finger Lickin’ Good!

Failure is a part of life. It’s what we do with failure that makes us our breaks us. Think about it. The first time you rode a bike, did you do it perfectly? I will never forget the first time I decided to ride my bicycle with no help or no one around me. I had training wheels.

I was 16 years old. (Haha! Just kidding!) I was absolutely petrified to ride that bike. What made it even more scary was the fact that our neighborhood sidewalk actually went downhill once I got going. I know, not the smartest thing I ever did. (But nobody ever accused me of being that smart!) At the bottom of the hill was the neighborhood mailbox. All I could think of was “Don’t run into the mailbox…..Don’t run into the mailbox.” The harder I tried to veer my bike away from the mailbox, the closer I actually got to it. I swear that mailbox had a giant magnet pulling me into it! Sure enough, I ran smack–dab into the middle of that mailbox -face first, no brakes-because I panicked. (Yes, I have been traumatized ever since. That expalins everything.) But did I decide never to ride bikes again? I don’t think so. I got back on that bike (a year later :)) and tried again. And again. And again. I kept trying until I got it right. Failure is a part of learning. That applies to learning a new sport, learning a new instrument, pretty much anything new that we try, right? Even Thomas Edison said “I haven’t failed, I have just learned about 1000 ways that won’t work.” Well, we all know what Thomas Edison did.
Did you know that Col. Sanders, the mastermind behind Kentucky Fried Chicken, was 65 when he started his KFC dream? His story is fascinating. You can Google it. Long story short, he got 1009 no’s before he got his first yes for somebody to partner with him and try out his new “herbs and spices” recipe. 1009. Think about that. Knocking on doors, making endless phone calls, taking countless trips in his car, (and sleeping in his car, by the way)……. Just to hear the word “no”. Until one day, finally, after 1009 tries, he finally heard the word “yes”. The rest is history. The man built a global empire out of chicken, for cryin’ out loud! (Makes me hungry just thinking about it!)
I think this whole matter of turning failures into successes lies in our attitude, our perspective, and most of all, our faith.
1. Attitude of Resilience: If you get knocked down seven times, get up eight.
2. Perspective About Failure: Simply understand that failure is not final. Failure really is just part of learning. Failure paves the way for success. And if you really think about it, failure is success if we learn from it.
3. Faith to Believe and Trust God: The trump card that we as believers have that the rest of the world is not have is our faith. We believe that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. His Word also says that He is the One directing our steps. So our temporary failures don’t take Him by surprise. It’s likely part of the learning process that He wants us to go through because it makes us stronger and wiser, better equipped to handle success when it does come. Trust that He uses it all, the good and the bad, for our good. I love Romans 8:28, “For all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose”.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “It is hard to fail, but it is far worse never to have tried to succeed.”
What if it seems you just keep failing at what you believe God wants you to act on? Maybe it’s a project, a ministry, a relationship, or a career move – whatever it is – don’t let the temporary failures stop you from trying to succeed. First, take your disappointments to the Lord. He’s either testing your faith, teaching you something you need to know, or it could be that He takes you down a particular path so you will see something better.
So when you fail, (and you will), trust God, have the proper attitude and perspective, and go forward in faith. When it’s all said and done, you will be pleasantly surprised at how it will all turn out “finger licking good”.
Soar On!
Life Coach Charlie