Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping-stones to success.
–Dale Carnegie (1888-1955), world-renowned author and speaker
Last Sunday, I filled in for the music director at our church here in St. Louis and had a great time working in that role again. There’s a great joy for me in working with and leading other musicians for a worship service and yesterday was no different. However, there was one part of the service that we rehearsed and I made a last-minute decision in the arrangement of a song that ended up not sounding, in my opinion, pretty bad! This was clearly my error as the leader and felt pretty discouraging afterward.
Have you ever had moments like that? Most of us have, and many of us can be brought down pretty low after such moments. Some of us will even be brought to the point of quitting or questioning our calling. Failure of any kind is a hard thing to endure. Here are a few ways I’ve lifted myself up after some of my most epic failures. I hope you find one or two of these helpful!
- Remember, failure is an event, not your identity. This is a paraphrased quote from the great Zig Ziglar, and continues to ring in my memory, especially after I blow it! A failure is simply A failure. It is something that has happened and will soon be in the past. So keep it in the past and off of your nametag!
- Failure is feedback. Using our failures as feedback will speed our growth and experience. Failure is teaching us something about ourselves. For me, yesterday’s failure taught me that I should’ve listened to my gut. If I don’t like the way something sounds in rehearsal, then I need to address it by either fixing it right then, or cutting out of the service.
- Expect Occasional Failure – “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” – C.S. Lewis
Remember that Failures and Discouragements WILL come, and sometimes in multitudes. But you need to continue, press on, persevere, and don’t allow the enemy any opportunity to take advantage of you! (Eph. 4:27)