“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinth. 12:9-10 NLT
What do you do when you fail? Better yet, how do you perceive failure? It matters, more than what most would assume and I’ve been learning more about this lately. After a few uncomfortable moments that left me sorting between my emotions and logic, I had to sit back and feel the blow. A waste of time on one end! I can’t speak for you, but I am extremely hard on myself when I believe I didn’t meet my own standards. In the moment, I find myself fighting the urge to cry. Swallowing gulps of air to anchor tears of disappointment and that’s all there is at the end of the day, for me at least. On the other end embracing the time to address my emotion is healthy, even if they are the result of missing unrealistic goals.
A ball of disappointment from unchecked expectations. I hate to admit and it’s embarrassing to say, even at 30 years old, that I neglect to apply reality to some of my endeavors. If anything other than greater than or equal to happens, a hail storm of self-inflicting critiques begin. I don’t have a cute story to tell that’d provide a worthy example for this week. I have a few of them form the past week that I’ll spare you the lengthy post to get my point across. Navigating these feelings and truths from the week, it was only right that I address this and encourage you.
I have a friend who is a tumble and cheer coach and it seems like the more she talks about cheer life, the more I see it on my phone. *the algorithms* The more videos and tiktoks I see with gymnasts and cheerleaders throwing tumbling skills have become increasingly interesting. Even in high school I used to wonder, while watching the cheerleaders, “how do they learn to recover from a fall?” The proof was in the pudding since I’d yet to see one at the games. After the week I had, I thought back to this point, “How do these girls have so much trust?” How do they know what to do? Obviously, they practice. What we see in the gameday performance has been rehearsed, failed, repeated and adjusted all behind the scenes. We don’t always see the process of practice, but we see the result of practice and that was the takeaway from the past week for me.
I remember hearing my friend talk to one of her flyers, the smaller girls that are lifted into the air. She talked with her about how to fall. At the time I didn’t see this as valuable but now it’s priceless. In short, the girl had never “flown” before and was admittingly nervous, I don’t blame her. The bases (the girls that lift her in the air) are learning how to catch her as well, so, as you can imagine there was plenty of falling. During her falls, instinctively, she flayed her arms around in anticipation of saving herself or at least, softening the blow. Subsequently, as her body began rotating on the way down, she landed on the shoulder of one girl while the others rushed to grab her extremities. After the fall, my friend corrected her on why panic and instinctive response in a new situation could be harmful to her. She explained that she needed to tighten up. The stiffening of her body help she team keep her weight stable enough adequately support her. as she feels lighter. When falling, it’s equally important to tighten up and stay tight and straight as possible so it’s easier for her team to catch her. If she’s falling like a starfish, her team is subject to injury by her loose limbs crashing down on them which in turn, risks injury to her as they may not catch her trying to protect themselves. ( That’s a word by itself!)
When we fall or fail, we, I, have a tendency to throw a million reasons as to why we failed, hoping to explain away stupidity, or at least, I do. Decisions that we’re afraid to call mistakes began mocking our intelligence and we allow it because it didn’t work. Simply put. While we can’t dispute that the idea didn’t work, we can dispute our methodology and our focus. Instead of focusing on trying to save ourselves and throwing around what we think will save us, maybe we should learn to embrace the fall. As embarrassing, hurtful and humbling as it is. I’ve noticed that a lot of my failures are due to having to vast of a plan, which is equal to having no plan at all. Sometimes we need to provide a stricter structure to our plans and ideas with benchmarks and realistic goals. Our dreams inspire our plans, but we must ensure that our plans have more structure than the freelancing aspect of our dreams. I’m not saying to downsize your dream, never do that. what I am saying is to be mindful not to expect how you imagine things to go exactly the way you’re dreaming it. You’ll do fine, you’ll do great, you’ll exceed your own expectations. Stay blessed!