Over the next 2 weeks, I am exploring principles of mental and spiritual strength. I will share characteristics that strong people exhibit and ways in which you can cultivate them in your own life.
Characteristic #8 – Strong People Fail with Grace
Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison is reported to have made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Steve Jobs was removed from the company he started at only 30 years old, only to come back and build one of the most successful products ever.
Everyone fails. Mentally and spiritually strong people have grace with themselves when they fail. Failure is a learning opportunity, not a statement about our identity. Without grace for ourselves, then we will give up and never reach our full potential.
In her book, The Up Side of Down, Megan McArdle shares great stories and research on the art of failing. She helps us understand that will we all fail, it’s how we fail that moves us from ordinary to extraordinary. She tells the story of a research experiment by Carol Dweck. Two groups of children took a simple test and all passed. The children then got to choose from a collection of follow-up tests that varied in difficulty.
One group was told they did well on the first test because of “how smart they were.” This group was likely to choose an easy follow-up test. The second group was told they did well “because of their heard work.” This group, in contrast, was much more willing to take on a challenge with a more difficult test, and succeed in the face of adversity.
The take-away is that people who operate out of a belief in their natural ability and innate skills can’t fail gracefully because they don’t understand the importance of hard work, how to accept criticism and how to use it to excel.
Jesus tells Peter that before the rooster crows Peter will deny him three times. Peter cannot believe it, flat out denies it. And yet, we find that Peter does in fact deny Jesus and weeps. It would have been tragic if Peter did not believe the truth that Jesus had been sharing during their years together – that Peter is fearfully and wonderfully made. What if Peter allowed this one failure to stop him from accepting the grace Jesus offers and the opportunity to join him in mission? What would have happened to the church and the sharing of the good news?
While we don’t know the details, we are grateful that Peter had grace on himself and kept moving. Where do you need to have grace in your life? Where do you need to claim gospel truths instead of lies so you can step into your best life yet?
Mentally and Spiritually strong people believe they are loved. Failure is a learning opporutnity, not a defining moment. Strong people fail with grace.
Your Story Matters is a course we offer at Younique that will guide you through a tool called “Life Drifts.” Through this exercise you will discover more about where you tend to get off course and how to allow grace back in.
I would love to hear your story of having grace on yourself. Ho are you failing forward with grace? [email protected]. Be strong and courageous!