We have all failed at something in our lives, perhaps many times. There is such pressure for us to “succeed” that we often “fail” to realize there are some benefits to failing.
Some people are so fearful of failing they simply will not try a different course of action; will not take a calculated risk; will not attempt something new. Many people are plagued by something the experts have called atychiphobia.
Atychiphobia is the abnormal, unwarranted and persistent fear of failure. However, you don’t have to suffer from atychiphobia, as this is a choice. The fear of failing is an obsession that develops in the subconscious mind. It has been transported into a person’s mind by some distress or traumatic situation. This has caused the person fail to see any options to move forward. Therefore, they lose confidence. They fear making decisions. They see little or no hope of ever succeeding.
To this I desire to encourage you today. Did you know some very famous and highly successful people had failed frequently in their road to success? This should encourage you to realize that we can benefit from what the world calls failure.
Did you know …
Thomas Edison failed over 10,000 times before he successfully invented the light bulb.
Babe Ruth, who held both the single season and career home-run records also failed 1,330 times by striking out!
Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” In spite of all his failings, he is still considered to be the best basketball player of all time by many people.
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States failed in many endeavors during his life. But Lincoln simply refused to quit! He is probably the greatest example of persistence. Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown. He could have quit many times – but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country.
Here is a sketch of his path to the White House …
- 1816 His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
- 1818 His mother died.
- 1831 Failed in business.
- 1832 Ran for state legislature – lost and also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
- 1833 Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
- 1834 Ran for state legislature again – won.
- 1835 Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
- 1836 Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
- 1838 Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
- 1840 Sought to become elector – defeated.
- 1843 Ran for Congress – lost.
- 1846 Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
- 1848 Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
- 1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
- 1854 Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
- 1856 Sought the vice-presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – got less than 100 votes.
- 1858 Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
- 1860 Elected president of the United States.
Please understand that I am dealing with a wide range of failings. My thesis is simple: How can we come back after a failing and ensure we will do a better job the next time? What safeguards can we put into place to prevent this from happening again? What can we learn to make us wiser, better, stronger? How can I be restored to a place of usefulness and productivity for God after a failing?
Sometimes we must actually fail in order to succeed.
To a great degree, how we deal with our present failings will determine our future success. A person who achieves any measure of success understands a person may fail without ever being a failure. Failings are often the steps upon which one must climb in order to bring the previously hidden knowledge into their lives. It was Albert Einstein who said, “Insanity consists of doing the same thing over and over and hoping for different results.” One of the most treasured characteristics we have is the ability to learn how to evaluate our experiences. Simply failing brings no value into our lives. However, successfully evaluating our experiences will add enormous value to our lives.
One only becomes a failure when they make the failing the final chapter in their book of life.
It was Dr. Jack Hyles, who shared a great Biblical principle when he said a person could “fail without being a failure.” You can fail without being a failure!
Jim Kilgore has been an Independent Baptist preacher since he started preaching. He is married to Bonnie and they are the parents of six children and 16 grandchildren. He has a calling and passion to win souls on the foreign field and to plant churches from those won to Jesus Chris, on all Seven Continents. His sending Church is Calvary Baptist Church, Crawfordsville, IN. The original article can be found at http://jimkilgoreministries.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/now-that-i-have-failed-what-is-next-3/
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer. — Mahatma Gandhi
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