Turning Failure Into Success – Steps 11-15
This week in our Wisdom Note, we continue to explore the steps needed to turn failure into success. Obstacles and failures, if handled wisely, can actually become our stepping stones for a successful life trek.
As we continue today, we will use five more stepping stones as we traverse life’s trails before us. Our lives are filled with obstacles, difficulties, and, at times, failures. Here are five more ways we can navigate over, under, around, and through the obstacles of life.
Overcome the fear; overcome the procrastination. Fear of failure, not the failure itself, is the biggest roadblock to your success. When you have overcome the fear of failure, you overcome your procrastination and excuses for inaction. Thereafter you are well on your way to fail, learn, and succeed like never before. When you run into fear that is blocking you from taking action, ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen if I take this action?” Unless it is physical harm or death to you or someone else, then what is stopping you? Everything else can be overcome. Ralph Heath put it this way, “The quickest road to success is to possess an attitude toward failure of ‘no fear.’”
Stepping Stone #11 – Overcome the fear by taking action.
Not getting what you desire can be a blessing. Not obtaining success immediately can be a real blessing because it forces you to reevaluate things and gain a new perspective. It opens new doors to opportunities and information you would have otherwise overlooked. When the rewards of success are great, so are the challenges. Embracing the possibility of failure is key to taking on a variety of risks, whether you’re reinventing yourself by starting a new business or allowing yourself to trust another person to build a deeper relationship. “Clouds in our lives are sent many times to bring showers of blessing.”
Stepping Stone #12 – Failure can be a blessing in disguise.
Failure teaches us to blame ourselves first and take responsibility. Our first reaction to failure is to blame anyone/anything but ourselves. If we perceive others are to blame, then there is nothing we can do to correct the problem. We cannot change people’s personalities, neither can they change ours. If we assume responsibility, then we can analyze what went wrong and take corrective action. This is the art of bouncing back from failure. To achieve your personal best, to reach unparalleled heights, and to make the impossible possible, you can’t fear failure. You have to take responsibility for your actions, you must think big, and you have to push yourself. “The more you take responsibility for your past and present, the more you are able to create the future you seek,” Celestine Chua.
Stepping Stone #13 – Failure teaches us to take responsibility.
Failure forces us to do things right. Failure is discouraging. It drains energy and resources, but it forces us to do things right. Failure separates those who think they want success from those who are determined to succeed. Failure narrows the playing field. The first people out are those that blame others, and the next out are those who lose interest. The weak go first. The strong learn to hang in there and keep bouncing back until they win. “It’s true that not everyone is positive by nature,” John C. Maxwell.
Stepping Stone #14 – Failure forces change.
Failure tells us we are going in the wrong direction. If you are out hiking and find yourself on a trail that will not lead you to your destination, then you are forced to stop, change course, and get on a correct trail. Continuing down the same path will only get you farther from your destination. In personal or business very often, this change of direction is forced on us because we are out of money or resources. Once we come to that realization then we are free to choose another path. The wrong path should not be viewed as time wasted but as lessons learned. When you try a new trail, chances are you will get it right. New paths will result in bringing you to the correct direction. “Life is tough enough as it is. It’s even tougher when we’re headed in the wrong direction,” Max Lucado.
Stepping Stone #15 – Failure helps us to get back on the correct path.
As we look at the practical lesson from the Scriptures on how failures resulted in success, we will read today of Moses’ response to his father-in-law Jethro, who gave Moses a plan to turn his failure into success when judging the Hebrew nation.
Let’s continue the story in Exodus 18:24-26, “Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions. He chose capable men from all over Israel and appointed them as leaders over the people. He put them in charge of groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. These men were always available to solve the people’s common disputes. They brought the major cases to Moses, but they took care of the smaller matters themselves.”
From Jethro’s advice, Moses structured the first court system for the Hebrew nation. He set judges up in a hierarchal form to alleviate the need for judging all the people himself. Finally, Moses had time to focus on what he was called to do, which was to lead the entire nation. He truly achieved success through his failure.
What are the areas of your life where you need to turn the failures into successes? In next week’s Wisdom Note, we will see how Gideon failed to trust God but through a series of tests was able to succeed.