It can be hard to talk about, difficult to admit and challenging to cope with. But failure is something we’ve all experienced and struggled with. It can be anything from getting a “C” instead of an “A” on a report card or receiving a “positive” instead of a “negative” on a medical test.
NATURE OF FAILURE
Recognizing failure requires only a casual glance. Like a blimp in the sky, failure looms large, is instantly recognizable and available for all to watch. Blimps move slowly, almost glacially slow, like a three-toed sloth. Failure moves away from the failed at an almost imperceptible speed. Such is its nature.
Examples of Less Serious Things
- Someone else got the promotion: “I’ve failed professionally.”
- Struggling with your kids: “I’m failing as a parent.”
- My spouse doesn’t get me: “My marriage is failing.”
These things are important but not failures. They may be temporary setbacks. You can work towards the promotion you deserve. You can figure out how to communicate better with your children. There are ways to improve a marriage. None of these constitute failure.
Examples of More Serious Things
- Being a disappointment to your parents: “Unfulfilled life expectations can be failure.”
- Your marriage is in divorce: “The marriage is over, it final, its failed.”
- Your life-long dream went bankrupt: “Money & efforts lost, gut wrenching failure.”
The worst failures are the things that mean everything to us, the things that are stripped away, fallen apart, and forever gone. It’s a terrible feeling, final and destitute.
FEAR AND FAILURE
What do men fear most? It’s weakness. Weakness for a man would be failing to provide for his family, failing his wife in the bedroom, failing to live up to expectations. His greatest fear is appearing weak, and therefore his biggest failure.
What do women fear most? It’s being abandoned. Abandonment for a woman suggests she isn’t good enough, reflecting her inability to please her husband and the heartbreak of losing her family. Her greatest fear is abandonment and therefore her biggest failure.
CAN FAILURE BE OVERCOME?
The pain and pressure of gut wrenching failure can be overwhelming, subduing and conquering us. But we can break its bonds of despair and depression. We can overcome our significant failures and move our lives forward again.
It’s difficult and not quickly achieved.
In Part Two of Overcoming Failure I will provide encouragement, suggestions, and support on how to conquer and subdue our failures.
Look for Part Two on Wednesday.