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my epic FAIL(S)

There’s something I love about people who are real and honest about things they’ve totally messed up.  They make me feel right at home.  It’s probably because I just can’t relate to perfection.

I’m a genius at failure.  You name it, I may have tried it…. and failed.   For example, you DO NOT want to see me on a pair of skis….

Beyond just clumsiness, much of my failure status comes naturally by taking the bull by the horns and running free with whatever comes to my mind.  It’s funny to look back on the last 10 years of my life and realize I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded.  Humbling, yes, but I can tell you honestly, I’ve learned much more from my mistakes than I have from my successes.

Here’s the deal; the real and candid deal.  It sucks to fail, especially with others watching.   I don’t know if there’s anything much worse than putting your heart out on a limb, taking a huge risk, investing a huge amount of time and money only to see it all crumble before your eyes.  And if you’re “perfection-driven”, this could really make you crazy.  All of a sudden your incognito perfection has fallen to pieces in front of everyone, leaving your humanity completely exposed.  That sucks.

But you wanna know the good news?  That’s the worst thing that can happen.   In hind-sight, that isn’t so bad.   If you ask me if I’d do it all again, the answer would be, “Yes, yes and YES”.  I’d rather try and fail than sit and do nothing.  The people I most admire are those who have failed time and time again.  I admire their tenacity.  Do I care that they’re not perfect?  Hardly.

A mistake at least proves that somebody stopped talking long enough to do something. – Ian Green

John Maxwell wrote a great book called, “Failing Forward”.  In his book he says when you fail, fail FORWARD….. and when you find yourself on the ground, pick something up while you’re down there!  Love it.

Many are catching on to the idea of “failing”.  Did you know that there are innovative companies that give prizes to ideas that fail the most?  Where do I put in my resume?!   You know why they do this?   They want to create an environment of safe risk-taking.  (isn’t that an oxymoron?)  These companies don’t want the status quo.  They know in order to achieve extraordinary results they will fail a few times before they hit it.

They say a person who steps out to risk makes around two big mistakes a year on average.   They also say that a person who doesn’t step out to risk makes around two big mistakes a year as well…

If you’re not ever failing you’re probably not dreaming big enough… Take a risk!  If its not you then WHO?  If it’s not now, then WHEN?   Failure brings timidity – where we become afraid of stepping out again.   Foolishness.  We need to get over ourselves.   WHO is the one empowering us?  WHO is the one who calls?  WHO equips?   Is it our great ability?   Does it all rest on our charisma and talent?

Hebrews 13:21 says that God Himself equips us with every good thing to do His will.  HE is the one who works in and through us for His purpose to be accomplished.   We could look at that verse and think that’s our ticket out of ever failing!  After all, if the God of the universe is equipping us, should we ever fail?   Yes.

…… because God knows that failure is a very effective teacher.   It teaches us more about character, perseverance, and leaning on God’s grace, more than success could ever instruct.   My heart is full of gratitude for every time failure knocked on my door, because it reminded me; “I’m good…. but I’m not that good”.  It has brought a much-needed humility back to my centre, and a desperate dependance on God.

Will we ever succeed then?  Yes of course!  But I wonder if it will show itself the way we expect it to?   Will we see the fruit of our labour?   Will we be able to see how our efforts tangibly have had an impact on society?  Or will we leave this earth wondering?  We can’t view the lack of “visual fruit” as “failure”.   When you’re doing what God has asked you to do: keep on keeping on.  Don’t grow weary in doing good.  Stay the course until He says otherwise.

Sometimes, He leaves us in this very place because….. well….. I don’t know why He does that.  I can say all the “right sounding” answers like character-building stuff (etc), but the truth is my limited mind will never fully comprehend the reason.  But He does…. and He can… because He’s God.  Maybe it’s only to remind us of that?…   Perhaps He needs us to keep living for something greater than ourselves?  Perhaps empowering  grace would not be at its full use if we didn’t live in this constant dependance?

Perfect failure.  Another oxymoron?  Or a chance to see God move us from our counterfeit perfection to His extraordinary….

Part of spiritual maturity is caring LESS about what people think and MORE about what God thinks. – Mark Hawkes

Categories: a broken journey
  1. Charlene Z
    March 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm


  2. March 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Connie, every time I read one of your posts I’m amazed. You seem to voice my exact struggles at the time I’m struggling. That voice inside – the who do you think you are voice? It eats at me too. Failure? For so long I have had such a crippling fear of failure I have been paralyzed. Part of that was broken off last January when I was soundly rejected by a newspaper when I submitted some work. I realized the whole world didn’t end because I failed and it was very liberating. But old habits are hard to break. I read Failing Forward many years ago and I loved it but have found it very difficult to put into practice. THIS IS MY YEAR! And yours too.

  3. March 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm


  4. March 5, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Connie, I always see through the lense of our high calling and destiny in Christ. It can be a character building season but it could also be a season of waiting because our destiny is not for us alone but for the church and God’s Kingdom so our destiny may be influencing the destiny of another. We sometimes run a little ahead of what God is doing or the Lord waites patiently until we get it.

    When Thomas Edison was asked about failing 9,999 times when trying to invent the light bulb his response was, “I didn’t fail 9, 999 times, I found 9, 999 ways that didn’t work”

    The point is, he didn’t quit so there was no failure.

    Btw, I used to call myself an oxy-moron (seperated words for emphasis)

    Cloud and Towsend in their book Boundaries said, falling down is not failure, it becomes failure when we don’t get back up. Falling and getting back up, falling back down and getting back up again is just part of the learning process.

  1. July 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm

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