Surviving in the Midst of Failure I

Failure comes to us one way or another, no matter how hard we work to avoid it. And especially if you are working to live an extraordinary life, even the “smallest” of failures may be to you a gaping gap in the “perfect” life you want to live.

Missed opportunities, failed relationships, speaking the wrong word, accusing or being accused wrongly may be examples of nightmares or daytime horrors that we may not be able to get over. But that may just be the beginning of our horror stories. The worst part of these stories come when we have to live in the “eternity” of the consequences of these failures.

can-stock-photo_csp5729487

When you have to unavoidably see eye to eye with the woman you had a painful divorce or broken relationship with on a regular basis, or the boss whose money you lost in an erroneous investment decision that is still haunting the company.

Living with consequences or circumstances that arise out of a failure you have experienced is a constant reminder of the error or sin that led to the consequence and a haunting experience that nobody may be able to understand or bear with you fully. But what should be of outmost importance should be how to survive and thrive in such a situation.

A first step to survival is to overcome the tendency to constantly remind yourself of the error or sin that has opened the door to the many “evils” that may now be tormenting you. Constantly reliving the error or sin in your mind keeps you stack at the level of your failure and makes you a victim of your failure. It also constantly opens up afresh all psychological and emotional wounds that were born by your error or sin and makes you more vulnerable to attack from other psychological and emotional predators such as depression and self-loathing. Wounded animals attract further attacks and that is why as Dr. Mike Murdock encourages, you will need to avoid the victim mentality.

The victim mentality focuses on the error or sin that has generated the circumstances or consequences you are facing while the victor mentality (although admits error or sin and learns from error while confessing and repenting from sin) focuses attention on finding solution to the currents situation and on the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross which is greater than all sin and by which all sin can be forgiven. The victor mentality focuses on the fact that in ALL things we are more than conquerors through Christ who redeemed us (Romans 8: 37).

The Fear of Failure and the Freedom to Fail

For men, especially men that have the instinct of pursuing excellence at all they do, the fear of failure is an age old disease. Being an Extraordinary Gentleman is about pursuing excellence in all circles of life and these can be grouped into Marriage, Ministry and Money i.e the 3Ms of manhood. And since excellence is a premium, the fear of failure is sure to be one thing that might plague our minds.
As Dan Benson wrote in his book the “ The Total Man; The Way To Confidence And Fulfillment” ( which is the main motivation for this article). The fear that men entertain include

Not providing for my wife and kids
Either losing my job, or not attaining promotion or salary raise
Not getting married
Not reaching my goals in life
Seeing all I have worked for collapse in my face
Being a failure at business or sex

One interesting reply in the book was this “failure to me is losing. I think it was Vince Lombardi who said, ‘Winning isn’t everything- it is the only thing’. I belief that. I don’t want to be a loser.”
Personally, I believe that some of us reading this articles might begin to feel uncomfortable by now as our own fears race across our minds, in fact many of us will do anything not to be reminded of the very existence of failure.
Well the picture that almost paints why many fear failure is painted by Eric Hoffer in his statement,
“there is no loneliness greater than the loneliness of a failure. The failure is a stranger in his own house”
However, I will side more with the comfort in his other statement
“There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail” -by Eric Hoffer.

What am I driving at? Well to cut matters short, the fear of failure I believe, leads to either hesitation or haste. Many are hesitant to act because they are afraid of going wrong and then carrying the “failure” tag. Others hurriedly rush through life pursuing their definition of success in order to flee failure. No matter what your situation is, fear is not the portion of an Extraordinary Gentleman
“For God did not give us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power and love and self-control”
(2 Timothy 1:7).

Therefore as Extraordinary Gentlemen, we shall not hesitate under the spirit of fear, saying like the lazy man, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!” (Proverbs 22:13, 26:13).
But we shall be confident in all we do, not driven by the spirit of fear, but inspired by the Spirit of sonship and adoption (Romans 8: 15), that says,
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)
For even failure has in it the reward of instruction for the wise.

I hope to dwell more on this subject in subsequent articles, for a mean time, I will like you to leave your comments and contributions on the article. You can even share experiences with us! Additionally, we encourage you to put in requests for articles on topics you will like to know more about, we will be glad to be a channel of God to you. God bless you.