Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Freedom to Fail (Revised)

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.  Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

As someone who struggles with perfectionism, the thought of failing at anything in life makes my skin crawl.  Failure has always horrified me.  I want to succeed.   I want to win.  I want to be PERFECT.

While growing up, I often thought that being a perfectionist was a positive character trait.  I thought that having this trait meant that you were driven and were not going to allow failure in any area of your life.

There is one little issue, however, in expecting perfection.  We are HUMANS.  Humans are not perfect and WILL Fail.  As my drive for perfection increased, my peace of mind decreased.  Every time I would fail, I would throw up my arms and give up.  My thought was, if this plan led to failure, then obviously the whole plan is worthless. 

This cycle of making a plan, failing, completely changing plans, failing again, and then finally giving up has shown up in nearly every area of my life. A great example of this was dealing with weight loss.  I would come up with a great plan of how I was going to eat healthy and exercise.  I would run this plan through my mind over and over again tweaking every little detail until the plan was perfect.  I would then start the plan, have a small failure during the first couple of days, and then give up in disgust.  At the first failure, I would decide that the plan was doomed and give up on the entire thing.  What I didn't realize was that setbacks (failures) along the way were inevitable and not a reason to scrap the whole plan.  I could accept it for what it was, a setback, learn from it, and continue on with my journey. When I finally learned how to Fail, then I actually found Success. 

As I look back, the flaws in my thinking were obvious.  Who am I to think I can do something perfect?  Do I think I am God?  Nobody ever does anything well, let alone perfect, the first time.  Highly successful people know that failure is part of life and actually use it to gain even more success.  Finding this acceptance of imperfection has been one of the most liberating experiences of my life.

This is how I found The Freedom to Fail :

1) Accept that I am a HUMAN BEING and that all human beings FAIL sometimes.

2)  Realize that Failing is actually one of the most effective ways that God teaches us.

3)  Accept that if I am trying to be PERFECT, then I am trying to play GOD.

4)  Believe that if I have a relationship with Jesus, then I am perfect in GOD'S EYES, despite my 

5)  Believe that if I am already perfect in God's eyes, I have the FREEDOM TO FAIL in this life.

Failing is just part of the human experience.  If we never fail, then we never learn.  If we never learn then we never succeed.

What About You?  Do you expect perfection out of yourself?  Would accepting your Freedom to Fail help you relax and try new, challenging or scary things in your life?

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