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“fail” the other “f word” (sorry)

September 3, 2008

so. i asked this question yesterday…

if you knew you could not fail, what would you like to do?”

i got a lot of great answers. some fun, light hearted, made me laugh! i loved reading through all the comments!

FAIL = unsuccessful in achieving ones goal

the majority of the comments i read through i kept asking myself…“why can’t they do that now? how do they know if they’d fail or not?”

as i get older, as my kids get older, as we seek to ensure we are doing what God wants, i’m finding that i’m less afraid of failure and more afraid of failing to try.

so for those of you who left comments yesterday…go back and read what you wrote. and ask yourself, “why can’t i do this? what’s really holding me back?”

i want to ask you this… the thing/s that you would try if you knew you wouldn’t fail…when you think of about it, do you get excited? do you find yourself imagining what it would be like if you were “in” that moment? i bet you do. have you ever considered why you might feel that way?

just a thought?

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Heidi permalink
    September 3, 2008 10:56 pm

    For me it was to write a book. I have hundreds of spirals (ok I am exaggerating) alot of spirals that I have never counted full of my words.
    These words ministered to me.

    How do I know if these aren’t just for me?
    How do I know that writing was just a release and heal process?
    or if I am really gifted, trust me people are not coming to my blog in droves… these are my simple questions.

    I also have a few life circumstances standing in my way, finances, people whom don’t believe, and life in itself.

    Tam, this is a very difficult question to answer…

    I’m not down just very thoughtful.

    I guess I need to apply myself and make a choice to step off the cliff, eventhough there may not be a parachute on my Back.. Because I have Him as my life perserver tonight.

  2. September 3, 2008 11:17 pm

    Our Greatest Fear —Marianne Williamson -made famous by Nelson Mandela

    It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us
    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
    It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
    We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
    talented and fabulous?
    Actually, who are you not to be?
    You are a child of God.
    Your playing small does not serve the world.
    There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
    people won’t feel insecure around you.
    We were born to make manifest the glory of
    God that is within us.
    It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
    And as we let our own light shine,
    we unconsciously give other people
    permission to do the same.
    As we are liberated from our own fear,
    Our presence automatically liberates others.

    —Marianne Williamson

    …I think it pretty much speaks for itself…

    God Bless

  3. September 4, 2008 1:08 am

    Or, Heidi, what if it’s a talent that He gave you and is waiting for you to share with the world to glorify Him?

    Okay, okay, ouch! I have 3 fingers pointing back at me and I know it. Within the last year, I’ve come to believe that writing is my purpose in life and I don’t want to be the guy with the one talent who buried it.

    I asked for help and a writing group practically fell in my lap – exactly what I needed to stop making excuses and actually write the story that He’s been waiting for me to start. It’s been 3 weeks and I’m still making some excuses.

    Then comes this post and I know that if I can write, I don’t have an excuse not to get healthier, too. One less thing in the mouth, one more word on the page.

  4. September 4, 2008 2:23 am

    I’m living what I thought I would fail at…being a Child of God. No matter how many times I gotta start from scratch…But that’s really the only thing. Seriously.

    Heidi and Jenny, and “anyone” out there who is trying to write, maybe we need the accountability…maybe its just like anythingelse…I’m gonna Beth Moore quote here, but its so true, ” If the devil can’t get you with destruction, he’ll settle for distraction.”

    I think its life distractions that keep US from fulfilling the calling asked of us…would you agree?

    I’m just going to make a list at things I would love not to fail at; now some of these things I have felt ready for but others thought I would fail at so it didn’t happen:

    1- self-control
    2- leadership
    3- writing
    4- prayer
    5- loving people w/out fear
    6- budgeting
    7- algebra
    8- common sense
    9- being an example of Christ
    10- relationships(point blank)

    We’ll say I’m a work in progress!

  5. September 4, 2008 7:01 am

    Great advice Tam, love that, if we step out and give it a go, we might be really surprised where it leads 🙂 thanks for the encouragement.

  6. September 4, 2008 7:07 am

    As soon as ck (have to keep his identity secret!) has his Bible Boy suit made made we are on it!

    I am struggling with a goal right now – my book. I am 3/4’s done and now I am getting nervous about finishing it – pray for me that I don’t give up!

  7. September 4, 2008 7:46 am

    papa-for some reason, the vision of a bible boy suit scares me 😯 😉

    i want to say here, as jenni did, when i wrote this post..i had 3 fingers pointing back at me too. this is as much for me as anyone else.

    this is where i DON’T want to find myself at some day…never trying and never knowing if i would’ve failed or not. i would rather try and fail than to not try at all and always wonder. if i try and fail…well, thats attempt #1! then i go on to try #2 with a different strategy. failing at something does not mean im a failure – it means there might need to be some tweaking.

    also – i need to stop confusing “failure” and “not supposed to”. i know, that i know, there a few things that i am “supposed” to do, because i am gifted and equipped in those areas, that i have neglected for fear of failing. NOT because it isnt what im suppose to be doing. i will not nail everything in the first attempt. i may some times, but not all the time. but i cant let those hiccups deter me, discourage me or dictate how i then look at the “possibilities” in me.

    so…im gonna re=read what i just wrote…write it down somewhere and tuck it away with me so i can refer to this whenever self-doubt says “hey!”.


  8. September 4, 2008 7:49 am

    Tam – this is why you are so great! I fail in trying too. I get stuck in the “how can I get it done” and the logistics of it all. Maybe I should just get an assistant…or kids!

  9. September 4, 2008 8:32 am

    some of what i wrote are things i’ve been TRYING to do for a long time, without great success… that’s why they made it onto that list.

  10. September 4, 2008 10:17 am

    I LOVE that quote posted by irock4jesus. I found it a while back and couldn’t get over how exact I felt that it described my thinking.

    I know that one of the reasons I don’t just jump out there and do things is feeling inadequate to do it and do it well enough to not fail. Fear that I will let myself and my own dreams down. That is painful. But I guess not as painful as never doing it at all.

    Better to try and to have failed, than to have never tried at all.

  11. September 4, 2008 10:27 am

    Heya tam!

    I really relate with what you are saying about being less afraid to fail and more afraid of failing to try… that is 100% where I am at right now in life. The Paris journey is a perfect example, in that I had to (and have to continually) weigh the costs of complete failure and determine what that will look like. The one thing I keep coming back to, over and over again, is that even if it fails miserably (and I dont think it will) but even if it does… I can look back on this time for the rest of my life and smile, as it was the time when I leapt out and went for it all. Like that old saying, “It’s better to shoot for the stars and land in the mud than to shoot for the mud and make it.”

  12. September 4, 2008 10:49 am

    Hey girly,

    I just copied Travis’s comment with “Our Greatest Fear” for this post on my blog:

    Thanks for challenging us to think. And feel.


  13. September 4, 2008 11:39 am

    I’d go back and forth from here to third world countries for 2-4 week stints doing medical clinics and mission work.

  14. September 4, 2008 12:27 pm

    oh great. you trapped me.

    time. (that’s a crock, i know)
    oh and fear of ___________ (insert anything else here).

    yeah. and a big giant mortgage. i guess that still is fear.

    hmmm (now why do you go and have to make me think!!!)

  15. September 4, 2008 12:42 pm

    so cool I love this post tam!! what a great encouragement to us all.

  16. TheSleepingBear permalink
    September 4, 2008 5:10 pm

    I kept asking myself the same question Tam was asking.

  17. September 6, 2008 8:41 pm

    I love this post! I agree, why not try. Freak, if you fail, you pick up, move on and do something else. I strive to never let my kids fear trying. I think the fear of trying sucks the imagination out of you, and when you get older, removes the ability to think creatively.

  18. September 6, 2008 10:06 pm

    Hey tam,
    I’ve seen you on Michelle’s blog a few times and for whatever reason just haven’t come over to see your blog. Anyway here I am and I wanted to say…wow.

    I was going to comment on your post about what you could do if you knew you couldn’t fail, I would’ve answered with something like; “live, publish a book, fall in love, change the world.” But then I read this and realized that your right. And all those things I said I’d do if I knew I couldn’t fail, I’ll do anyway, fail or not. Because maybe, just maybe, success isn’t the ultimate goal. Maybe it’s more important to try.

    And I wanted to leave a thought for Heidi and everyone else —- “When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of this we can be sure: either God will provide something solid to stand on or…. we will be taught to fly.” Unknown


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