Encouragement27 Jan 2006 01:43 pm

I talked with a friend on Monday, who taught me a good lesson about managing failure. Mike, whose father was an alcoholic asked if I knew how alcoholics kept up with their progress. I had no idea.It seems that there are two popular methods. The first method was the Alcoholics Anonymous method which says that I am an alcoholic and I took my last drink 300 days ago. Obviously this reinforces the idea that you have walked away from it. The other method was I am an alcoholic, and I have failed 10 times, but I have gotten up 10 times. The focus is not on failing, but learning to get up when you fall.

That is a good lesson for me. I have a high tendency for guilt, and the act of falling down is almost as traumatic for me, as the failure itself. Mike suggested that I begin making a checklist for when I failed. Not try to walk a tightrope hoping not to fail.

I had never thought about giving myself the opportunity to fail, and I welcomed the chance to not feel so nervous about failing.

The first thing that I need to put on my checklist is to ask for forgiveness from God, and then to accept it. I cannot keep going back and not forgiving myself. This leads to loads of guilt. Next, I need to surround myself with the things that keep God real to me in my life. The kids laughter, the smile of my wife, the smell of a fall morning, the roar of the crowd at Neyland when a touchdown is made.

I can fail. In fact, I am one of the best ‘failers’ that I know. I am ok at getting up. I most always get up. It takes longer than I would like, and I feel it necessary to have a pity party first. I will work harder at being the best ‘getter-upper’ that I can be.

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