I had started out with the best of intentions, but once again I had failed. Or at least, I thought I’d failed. By my standards, I was a complete failure.
What did I fail at? Oh, you name it, I’ve flubbed it up.
- That teachable moment with my kids
- The job interview
- A new recipe
- A vocal solo
- Pitching my book proposal to a publisher
- A difficult but necessary confrontation
- Driving home without getting a ticket
- The romantic dinner I planned for my husband
- My well intentioned to-do list
- The speaking engagement I failed to show up for (just once!)
- My effort to keep. my. mouth. closed. and listen.
Just because I’d like a little company here, I’m going to assume that you’ve messed up a time or two as well. Am I right?
Yesterday I posted about how my friend Candy introduced me to the Glow and Grow philosophy for handling our “failure” or even our successes. You might want to read it here. But I thought today, for our Walk With Me Wednesday, we’d walk through this simple process together. And I mean let’s really get out a pen and paper (or a journal if you keep one), and put this thing into practice. You might be amazed at how encouraging this simple process can be.
So go get your paper and something to write with. Ready? No, really, go get something to write on and with. Alrighty!
Jot down something that happened in the last day or two that you’ve regretted a little. It doesn’t have to be a big project gone bad or a complete disaster. It could simply be a conversation that took a wrong turn, a to-do list with few checks on it, a promise you broke to your child, or that quiet time that kept getting pushed down in your day and finally never occurred.
Now, let’s glow a little in that frustrating moment. That’s right. Even in our biggest failures we can usually find something we’ve done right. If nothing else we had some good intentions, right? Here are a few examples:
- I botched a new recipe and had to throw it out – but at least I tried to make something new!
- I failed to pick my child up on time from VBS – but I got her there on time and I owned up to my mistake and apologized.
- I snapped at my husband about something silly and ended up arguing with him – but later I apologized and we went for a long walk together.
- I received a rejection notice from an editor – but I made a new contact and put myself and my writing out there. I showed some courage.
Now it’s your turn. Look for the silver lining…and bask in it a little. You’re not a failure, you know. You may have made a mistake, even a costly one, but you are not defined by that mistake. You glow, girl!
Ok. Before our pride starts excusing our mistakes and blaming our problems on someone else, let’s take a little ownership here. The next step in Glowing and Growing, of course, is to grow from our mistakes.
Instead of dooming ourselves with unhealthy labels and pathetic self-talk that says things like, “You always…” or “You’ll never…” or “You dummy!” let’s determine to assess our mistakes from God’s perspective.
For I am confident of this very thing,
that He who began a good work in you
will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
God is still at work in you. You are not defined by your mistakes, but they can be used to perfect you if you own them and learn from them.
So, considering the thing you feel like you “blew,” jot down at least one lesson you learned from the mistake, maybe more. Go ahead; write it down. Somehow writing it down has more sticking power than just silently considering it. Here are a few examples uses the case situations above:
- I need to gather all of my ingredients before I start cooking/baking the recipe. That way I’ll be more prone to include everything it calls for.
- I might need to set a timer on my watch, phone or kitchen timer so that I don’t lose track of time again.
- When I’m already feeling insecure about something (such as the recipe I botched) I’m more prone to snap at whoever is in my path. I need to deal with my insecurities instead of letting them rule me.
- If I want to sell an article to this magazine, I need to research their audience and typical articles a little better.
Your turn. Remember, don’t use the “grow” step to beat yourself up. Instead turn the failure, the criticism, the rejection as a platform from which you can better see how to handle a similar situation in the future. Don’t let the failure shut you down; let it compel you toward something better.
You know, gals, we all mess up. I mess up every single day. But we can choose to use those little (and big) failures as stepping stones toward growth, or we can label ourselves poorly because of them and quit. That’s not God’s desire for your little mistakes… or the big ones. He is our Redeemer. And when we hand Him the good (glow), the bad (grow) and even the ugly (our feelings about it all), He can redeem what we may have lost in the flub-up. He can make all things new.
Would you like to share your Grow and Glow with us? We’d all be encouraged by your transparency, you know!
I’m linking up with Holley Gerth and other bloggers who are offering encouraging words today on Holley’s Coffee for Your Heart.
You’ll find more Walk with Me Wednesday posts here.
Deb Wolf says
Great wisdom here. It's easy to turn a failure into self-loathing that goes on and on and on. This admits it and turns it into potential. It's time to glow and grow.