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Is Failure a Reflection of Who You Are?

Is Failure a Reflection of Who You Are?

This week, the blog lost its first subscriber.

If I’m going to be honest, that’s disappointing, especially since it hasn’t been in existence that very long.
When I checked in on the subscriber list and I saw that lonely number one next to the amount of unsubscribers, it made me feel a certain kind of way.

It was tapping into the people pleaser in me, the insecure me, and the version of me that wants to create something that every person that engages with it will passionately love.
The reality is, with every single creation, there’s essentially a handful of different responses. There’s variations of yes, variations of no. And then variations of wow. And of course, we’re going for the wows. But what happens when you get the no’s?
It definitely goes in my box that seems to continually be growing called failures. And here’s the truth that I think we all need to hold on to today.
Failures that remain in your box can be lessons that you learn from. You can choose to pick up the box and open it and educate yourself with its contents in the same way that people would use a textbook.
However, if failure becomes a coat or a badge of sorts, it becomes something that you walk around with, that you carry as a part of who you are. And that is an unhealthy place.
Failure should never be received as a scarlet letter or a personal identifier, but simply an event. And the beauty is we can learn from events. We can grow from events. We can’t learn and grow from parts of who we are.

 

So it’s important that we keep failure in an educational box and not in that wonderful little transparent part of our wallet that holds the ID. Failure is not who we are.

Don’t do the work of the enemy and receive failure as an internal reality. It is through internalizing failure that we end up doing the worst service of all to ourselves: Extinguishing hope.
Christ-centered creatives, we must recognize our hope is in Christ. That any failures are not personal, are not permanent, and are not pervasive. And if each of those are not true, failure is something that we can learn and recover from.

But the moment it becomes personal, we believe the failure to be who we are. The moment it becomes permanent, we believe this failure to be something that we can never change. And the moment it becomes pervasive. We believe that every aspect of our reality is a failure.

So no matter if the failure you’ve experienced is losing a subscriber, finding someone giving you a “no” to your creation, losing a huge client in your business, or finding that your business needs to close…

Remember this, it’s not personal. It doesn’t reflect on who you are at your core.
It’s not permanent. This is something that there is hope for change. Things that have ended can be reborn. You can grow beyond this.
And it’s not pervasive. This is verifiably a singular event.

As you continue to learn and grow, you can be sure that there will be other places where you fail. But don’t ever receive the lie that you are a failure.
And hey, an appropriate response to this could be to subscribe to the blog LOL. Sorry, I couldn’t help it with the shameless plug.

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Are You Pursuing a Dream Worth Living For?

Are You Pursuing a Dream Worth Living For?

Over the past two months, I’ve grappled with the idea of launching my business. I dedicated my time to researching and preparing to establish a branding and marketing enterprise. In the midst of finalizing a 24-page graphically designed business plan, I awoke in the middle of the night, gripped by fear. It wasn’t the inevitable challenges of starting a business that unsettled me. Nor was it my lack of experience or my sometimes overly optimistic and unrealistic mindset. Instead, as I confronted the internal and external battles that lay ahead, I realized that I was preparing to face significant challenges for a business that I could do, but didn’t truly love.

While I find satisfaction in website development, graphic design, branding, and helping others shape their stories, my true passion lies in creating my own narratives. There are countless creative dreams I long to bring to life, and that is the driving force behind Freedom Story Media. While Freedom Story Brand Design could yield fulfillment for me and substantial benefits for nonprofits, it wouldn’t fulfill my deepest aspirations. As my next birthday approaches, less than a month away, I recognize that time is finite for all of us. If I’m going to confront formidable challenges and plunge headfirst into the entrepreneurial realm, I want to do so while pursuing the business I envisioned creating several years ago.

This brings me to a question we all must answer for ourselves each season and each day: It’s not…Will this life, this venture, this project bring challenges? Every worthwhile endeavor comes with its share of obstacles. The real question is: Which initiative is significant and vital enough to warrant facing those challenges?

Yesterday, I celebrated my daughter’s trip to the thrift store. At first glance, this might seem trivial. However, what you may not know is that, like many her age in this post-COVID world, she has grappled with anxiety that has prevented her from engaging in activities that my generation might consider normal or easy. At 19 years old, she struggles to do things without her mother or father. Yet, in preparation for a weekend with a friend for their birthday, she was determined to find the outfit she desired. For her, venturing out alone felt like an insurmountable challenge. When she realized that both my wife and I were occupied and couldn’t accompany her, she bravely faced the terror of going alone in pursuit of new clothes, even if they were simply “new to her.”

I found myself prouder of her for venturing out despite her trembling and tears than I was of the straight A’s she achieved throughout her entire second semester of college. She learned, as I hope we all do, that with the right motivation, we can accomplish the most daunting tasks. So, I ask you: Are you pursuing the dream that is worth living for? Are you following the calling that God has placed on your heart? Are you willing to put yourself out there, take risks, and make mistakes on your journey to achieve what only you were meant to achieve?

My deepest desire is that you are. Assisting you in pursuing that dream is a significant part of why the Ordered Chaos Club exists. It is for Christian creators and innovators like you. Let’s band together and create the future that we believe we were made for.

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