You can be a winner not matter how many mistakes you make.
I treat myself up pretty bad when I make a mistake. When I treat someone unkind because I’m tired or make a bad decision because I’m in a hurry, or don’t give a project my best because I procrastinated too long, guilt beats me up. I’m a thinker, so I internally question my actions, communications, thought processes and wish I had done things differently. Sometimes I have been my own worst enemy.
Recently I’ve had an epiphany about my failures that has changed the way I look at them. It came from these wise words by Brian Houston.
In life, sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.
Every mistake or failure is a chance to grow and learn
and if you understand that
then you’ll never lose –
you will either win or learn –both of them worthwhile.
Here’s a very recent example of a mistake we made here on the farm. Lately we’ve added animals to our farm. Click here or here to see our new babies. Along with pigs and laying hens, we have added turkeys (below)
The last few weeks we have had tons of rain. One night was especially bad with severe thunderstorms all night and a tornado warning. This is what it looked like around our farm the next morning.
We had just put our young chicks and turkeys out into their chicken tractors earlier that day after living their first month in our garage. My husband and son boarded up both sides as much as possible to protect them from the wind and rain. But when we checked on them the next morning, one bird was near death. We tried to dry her off and get her warm, but she was too weak to survive.
As we learn to tend for our animals, we make mistakes. Putting them outside without realizing how severe the weather conditions were going to be, cost a life. The important thing is we learned from that mistake. The next two nights we checked the weather, realized it was going to get really cold and brought the chicks back into the garage to get them off the cold wet ground.
I am learning to apply this win or learn philosophy to my life.
“The steps of a man are established by the Lord and he delights in his way. Though he fall (make mistakes) he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the one who holds his hand.” Psalm 37:23
This verse makes it clear that not only is my way sure, but God is delighting in the steps I take. But it also implies, I am going to make mistakes. He’s not condemning me for my failures. He knows they are coming. He just offers me his hand, wipes off the dust, pats me on the back, and gets me back in the game.
Are you beating yourself up over some failure, unkind words or awful decision you made recently? Remember to give yourself grace because God does. Try this simple exercise using a recent mistake you’ve made. Writing down or speaking out loud the answers to these questions will help you understand what happened and how to move forward.
1) Name the mistake.
2) What happened as a result?
3) Why did you make it? (were you hurried, stressed, afraid?)
4) Do you need to give grace to yourself or someone else?
5) What did you learn from this mistake?
6) What do you need to do differently? .
Instead of treating yourself unkindly, ask yourself the questions above. What is one thing you can take away from this circumstance as a win so you don’t repeat it?
Making mistakes is just part of life. Choosing to forgive yourself or taking some time to reflect on what you can learn from the whole thing, is what makes you a winner. Never call yourself a looser again. You are a learner, a grower, a person maturing and becoming and it doesn’t come without bumps along the way. God is delighting in each step you take and is always there to pick you back up. So keep going.