This past Wednesday I ran into a person that I watched from afar since I was in high school and finally had the pleasure to meet on the basketball court in 1991. In the 90's we played basketball against each other more than a few times, and over the years I have seen this person from time to time and have always admired the type of man he is and the way he carries himself. Every time we see each other now, because of his approachable demeanor and his easy smile, I find our conversations to be positive and encouraging.
After receiving his email address I decided to leave this person an email and follow up on our conversation and to remind him about checking out mybabyroc. Below is the email:
Great seeing you yesterday. I was talking with Troy in the pro shop afterwards and he said the “old guys” won by a stroke… nice. I told Troy we all should get together and play golf sometime. I play a lot out at Heritage in Hilliard and Worthington Hills. Anyway, here is the link to my website www.mybabyroc.com … the foundation of the site is Jesus Christ and the goal is singular; to reach out to believers and non-believers alike and to encourage them. I have failed more than I have succeeded in life and I believe the #1 thing people need is encouragement. Failure doesn’t have to be final, it just has to be managed. You manage it by acknowledging it, accepting it, and learning from it so as not to make the same mistake again. Making the same mistake again and again ultimately becomes a character issue not a behavior issue.
It was in writing this email that I realized the words that I shared about failure were true. Failure is never final and should never be thought of as fatal; failure ultimately needs only to be managed. The three things that we all should remind ourselves with each failure are to acknowledge, accept and apply.
I call it the Triple-A.
Failure has been commonplace in my life and the lessons I have learned from them have proved to become my dear friends.
As we all struggle with poor decisions, less than best performances and failure we have to realize that we can recover from these situations.
First, we have to acknowledge our failure. Dr. Phil always say's; "You can't change what you don't acknowledge. By acknowledging our failure we move one strong step closer to removing denial in our lives. Denial is one of the biggest obstacles to growth and maturity in our lives.
Secondly, we have to accept our failure. We all are going to fail. Some of us will fail more than others, but if we are to move on from our failures we have to accept them. Once we accept them we can start the process of eliminating shame and guilt. When I had two children in the same year, eight months a part, by two different women I was devastated. I felt embarrassed, ashamed and guilty. It wasn't until I accepted my failure in having a family the incorrect way did I start to accept my fate, and ultimately my responsibility. Once I acknowledged my failure and accepted it I was free of the guilt and shame. Did I make a huge mistake in judgment? You bet. But once I realized that this wasn't going to be fatal and that this situation wasn't going to be the final chapter in my life I was ready to move on in a positive direction. Lastly, acceptance of our failures is not the same thing as approving or condoning our mistakes. Acceptance is the release we give ourselves to carry on in a positive direction; acceptance is freedom.
Thirdly, when we fail we have to make sure we learn from the situation, and apply the truth and reality of the failure to our lives. Learning from our mistakes is the key. We have to have the mindset that there is a take away, something I can learn, from my failure. We need to learn from it so as not to make the same mistake again. Making the same mistake again and again ultimately becomes a character issue not a behavior issue.
Do we all fail? Yes.
Everyone fails miserably at some point in their life.
But we don't have to let our failure define us.
Failure doesn't have to be final or fatal; it just has to be managed.
I hope you are encouraged by the words you have just read and I also hope you're always mindful of Triple-A (Acknowledgement, Acceptance and Application) and leave agony, anxiety and angst behind when failure arrives at your front door.