I hate to fail. I do.
I can’t think of one person who enjoys failing. But failure is a part of life. With every failure comes insight, learning, and an experience that prepares you for the second attempt. Failure is a tool. A tool used to learn from your mishap, setback, or unlucky break and apply that knowledge moving forward.
But it’s not failure that keeps people from trying again. No, in fact it’s what comes along side failure that hinders growth and movement. Shame.
What is shame? Shame is the painful feeling of humiliation or distress. It is the loss of respect and self-esteem for yourself. It is the feeling of being inadequate.
Shame is an ugly thing. It lies to us, tells us that we are not good enough. Where failure can be used as a tool to move forward, to sharpen our character and enhance our lives, shame’s purpose is to hold us back and keep us from ever trying again.
We are ashamed of our failure, humiliated and distressed by it. We are embarrassed that we were not able to make it work, fix it, or keep it alive. Keep what alive? Anything in life. Anything we keep close to us. Anything we are emotionally or physically tied to.
A business, a book, a relationship, a dream, a circumstance. We strive for greatness because as humans, it is in us to do so. But when we fail, when we fall, shame over takes us. We feel a deep agony for failing. We let ourselves down. We let those around us down. We let those closest to us down. We let the world down.
Shame weighs on us. Weighs on us like an oversized coat that swallows our entire body and pulls us down as we attempt to walk forward. Shame keeps us from ever trying again because the fear of failing again consumes our thoughts. The fear of coming up short, again, is too much to bear upon our shoulders.
“Shame is the most powerful emotion. It’s the fear that we are not good enough.” – Brene Brown
So we hide. We hide away, swearing to never try again. We burn the book, we curse love, we dismiss the dream because not only are we afraid but now shame has convinced us that we are not worthy of a second chance with success, with love, with a dream. Shame whispers in our ear “You had your shot and any attempt at a second endeavor will result in the same manner as before. Failure.”
But shame is a liar.
Shame knows our power. It knows what we could accomplish if we try just one more time. It fears us so much, so much that it tries to convince us that we would be fools to try again. It hides us away in a corner, and makes us feel unworthy of the dreams and desires within us. Unworthy of love. Unworthy of success. Unworthy of living out our dreams. It drowns us in rejection and makes us believe that we can’t be made anew. But those are lies, brutal lies that have sent men to the grave with dreams and passion still inside them.
So what would I say to you? What would I say to myself?
Accept that you will fail. Accept it. Learn from it. Even if it was your fault, learn from it. Apply those lessons to your life, apply them to your next attempt at that dream, that business, that relationship, that passion.
Fall down, look at that failure and shame in the face and get back up. Read more books, apply yourself, work harder, better yourself, grow in wisdom, learn from where you failed and try again. The world is filled with second chances, and third chances, and forth chances. Call it God, call it the universe, but there is something that believes you are good enough for a second attempt and when you get back up, when you refuse to let shame take hold, it will open doors for you.
So what do you say? Will you come with me dear friends? Will you rise up with me? Will you try it again?
Because you are good enough to try again.
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