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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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How Do I Know If I’m Settling for Less Than I’m Capable Of?

How Do I Know If I’m Settling for Less Than I’m Capable Of?

Standing on a heap of grass jutting out like the tip of Florida in the middle of the little lake at Independence Grove, I witnessed an exercise in bravery and inspirational independence. I marveled at a loud, cackling group of red-winged blackbirds feverishly moving in unison from tree to tree. I wasn’t sure if they were playing, fighting, or perhaps just having a lively debate.

But whatever they were doing, they were loud and united. My first thought was in celebration of the unity of that moment, then the next moment struck me as I saw one bird flying outside of that group. It quickly soared past me, a streak of black across the morning blue sky, and continued soaring higher and higher. It was powerful as I looked up to see a plane a few thousand feet higher, soaring in a similar path. I couldn’t help but think this bird may have believed something different about who he was. While there is beauty in being part of the crowd, and strength in the important unity of being together, there is also something inspirational about seeing and believing something greater about who you can be.

I had the thought for a moment that maybe… Just maybe, this bird thought he could fly higher and wanted to test the limits of his wings. The Icarus analogy isn’t lost on me in this, but it is birds like that, leaders like that, who build the bold and brave futures that the cackling crowd gets to enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with being in the crowd. In fact, there’s a sense in which this club is a similar crowd.

But what if you were built to fly higher?

Don’t be afraid to soar differently.

Did you enjoy the episode? Check out yesterday’s post.