Jan
29

Failure Is Not An Option. It’s A Necessity.

No one likes to fail. In fact, most of us fear failure. We see failure as something that will keep us from accomplishing our goals, getting that perfect job or gaining the respect that we desire. And, much of the time, we fear that failure will ruin our reputation. Our culture tells us that failure is unacceptable.

But, have you stopped to think what life would be like if you never failed at anything?

So, what if we never failed? Life would be pretty sweet…wouldn’t it? We would never make mistakes and everything would always work out perfectly. But, would that really give us the life we want?

Life Without Failure

Life without failure would not all of a sudden become a string of excitement and triumphant successes. Instead, it would become a monotonous string of non-events that would leave us empty and apathetic towards everything. We would eventually stop trying to do anything – either because we are not willing to try something without a guarantee of perfection; or, because the thrill would be gone knowing the outcome would always be predictable. Without the struggle, the successes become meaningless.

And then we have to ask, in this world full of failure, can we just avoid failing? I guess we could try. But, if failure was not an option that we allowed, wouldn’t we then become so afraid of the possibility of failing that we would avoid anything with the potential to fail?

Think about this: if we never risk failing, all we really do is fail to ever really live.

We desire excitement and adventure. This comes from the unknown. And the unknown always brings a chance of something being different than what we prepare or hope for – which, at its essences, is the definition of failure.

The Key

The key is to approach life with the attitude that we want the struggle and that we are willing to fail at something because we know that it will eventually lead to greater things.

The Bible reminds us that God will provide a way for us even when things seem hard. And I like Thomas Edison’s quotes: In addressing his failed attempts at the light bulb, Edison says “we now know a thousand ways not to build a light bulb.” And elsewhere, Edison says that “I haven’t failed, I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work” and “the most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Growing Stronger and Wiser

Struggles, tension, resistance, and occasional mishaps in life help us to grow stronger and wiser. Embrace the failures so that you may experience the joy in life. Besides, those hard times, and the victories that follow, give us great stories to share with others.

Does fear of failure rule your life or do you use it as a catalyst in your life?  What failures have made you stronger and given you stories that can encourage others? You can leave a comment below.

7 Comments to “Failure Is Not An Option. It’s A Necessity.”

  • Brandon January 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    I had many failures through playing guitar… I persevered through them, and I now lead my won worship band! Eben though, we have a long way to go, it is a start!

    By the way- what commenting system do you use?

    • Brandon January 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      Wow! I had a lot of typ-os… please excuse those! haha

    • Steven Cribbs January 31, 2011 at 10:29 am

      Ahhh…the guitar. I can relate – some on guitar and much through drums and piano. Music is definitely one of those areas where ‘failure’ is a part of the process of becoming great!

      For my comment system, I currently use the default system provided by WordPress. I have also looked at Disqus – I have it running on my dev site, it doesn’t quite place as nicely, with my theme, as well as I would like.

      • Brandon February 1, 2011 at 10:50 am

        Yeah… I find that it loads really slowly! Sometimes, I just don’t leave a comment on something when it is too slow… right now, I just have the default for mine. It’s not the best at all, but it loads really fast!

  • JD Eddins March 15, 2011 at 8:38 am

    It use to be that every 4 years or so I would get into a phase where I would say, I really want to learn how to play guitar. I’ve discover though that I really have no musical ability.
    The good thing is those failures I have helped me pursue other passions in which I am talented, instead of pursuing a popular yet unrealistic goal for myself.

    • Steven Cribbs March 15, 2011 at 8:51 am

      It’s true. Sometimes we have to try a few things to see if there really is, or is not, any potential there. And often times we learn something about ourselves when we try those things and honestly evaluate the outcomes.

      This process has helped me several times to figure out that something I really thought I wanted to do didn’t really satisfy me like I thought it would (read as, it was not really where God had created me to be).

  • Sometimes God Has A Different Plan | Steven Cribbs May 24, 2011 at 9:58 am

    […] things have to go in a different way than what we expect. Sometimes there has to be a storm and our plans have to fail in order for God’s plans to […]

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