Written and media by Kristyn Ewing.
We are imperfect humans whose sinful nature is to compare and be jealous of our neighbors. The words failure, disappointment, defeated, loser, unworthy, etc., not only instantly flood our minds when something doesn’t go our way, but also set limitations on our abilities. We naturally set such high expectations for ourselves, but how we handle situations is what is crucial, because it reflects our character.
There’s an article called How to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Failure and in the first line it asks: “Are kids too coddled?” The article proceeds to talk about how we try to avoid failure because our self-worth needs protecting. It also tackles how to move forward if someone is fearing failure: emphasize effort over ability, encourage practices of self-compassion when failing, and build positive relationships.
Growing up, you could have called me coddled. I was always told to “do the best I could,” but that phrase over time turned into a crutch for me to use and that concerned me. It gave me permission to not push myself to give more. I firmly believe there is always more to us than the words engraved in our minds lead us to believe.
I became easily disappointed in moments where I had given more than my best effort and still failed. Disappointment means an un-fulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations, and in those instances, I definitely lacked fulfillment. It feels as though you let someone down and that is never okay. A constant reminder I have to tell myself is that I am not superwoman, and I am not perfect.
My faith is who I am and it carries me through times of failure. There is a phrase that goes like this: “It’s about what you have, not what you don’t have.” This phrase is so true because I always have my faith in God and He has taught me how each and every one of us has been given unique talents and abilities, which means we will not be experts at everything we try. Knowing there is always more means our story is far from over. Our failure is just a simple bump in the road compared to the long journey ahead and it is with confidence in God that we can learn to handle failure correctly.
In an article called Why Attitude Is More Important Than Intelligence, the author makes a good point that a person with a fixed mindset believes he is who he is and can not fix it, which creates problems. However, a person with a growth mindset believes there is always room for improvement.
This goes to show that we need a mindset of growth in order to deal with our failure. If we do not use our failure to grow, we will never see it as a good thing. As humans, we set up limitations, but as Christians, we believe in a God that has none. There is a plan for our lives if we trust in God. In Jeremiah 29:11, God reassures us: “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
Jeremiah 8:4: “The Lord says: ‘You know if a man falls down, he gets up again. And if a man goes the wrong way, he turns around and comes back.'”
It is as easy as that because of our faith. As Christians, we fail and disappoint, but we are blessed with a Heavenly Father who demonstrates compassion and grace which helps us to rise above our sinful nature. For me, not only knowing that but being confident in it, helps me in every aspect of my life when dealing with failure. It helps to know that if I am going to fail, I can fall onto my faith to move forward.
If I’m going to fall, I’m not going to fall back on anything except my faith. I want to fall forward because at least I’m going to see what I’m going to hit.”