Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Fear of Repeated Failure: 4 Things to Try Before You Give Up for Good

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Alecia M. White
Alecia M. White
Author, blogger, lover of coffee, and all things Jesus. By profession, Alecia is a teacher and administrator. She recently published her first book "The Thing Is...", a poignant look at suffering and endurance. She is privileged to share her love for Christ through her writing.

Bouncing Back From Repeated Failure

I learned to ride a bike around the age of eight. One of my older brothers and a cousin taught me. Of course, as a child, riding a bike is one of the most amazing things ever. It’s the pre to having your first car. My parents let me ride, with supervision of course, to the ice cream stand and across the way to the candy store.

There’s a parking lot in front of my parent’s home that we’d ride around. I recall when I was around ten or eleven, riding around this parking lot racing with my younger brother.

As I rounded the light post, my bicycle wheel turned and I could see myself going down. I skinned both my knees, badly. Like, I skinned them “to the white meat”, you know that phrase, don’t you? 

Well, after that, I didn’t want to ride a bike again. And, you know what? I didn’t. I haven’t ridden a bike since. Yep, that means I missed out on riding to get ice cream and to the candy store for the remainder of my childhood. All because I’m sure I was terrified that it would happen again.

But what proof did I have? I’d never fallen off before, but that one time is all it took to change my perception of how things would turn out in the future. Even now, I’ve got people trying to get me to go on bicycle rides that I’ll never take. Why? Because I refuse to get back on a bike. All because I tore up both my knees at a time when it only took them a few days to heal.

Get Back on the Bike

What is it that you’ve stopped doing because you’ve “skinned your knees”? See, there are many times in life – more than we should allow – that we give in to the thought that every time we try, things will be just as bad or worse than the last time. 

You stopped writing that book because you had a case of “writer’s block”. Your business plan is collecting dust because you were refused a loan that you thought would jumpstart your latest venture. Someone else, seemingly less qualified, got the job that you applied for, so you decided to stay comfortable in your cubicle to avoid any other letdowns.

So, What’s the Play Call?

Sometimes, things don’t gradually get tough – they seem to flop all at once. Here are 4 things to keep in mind before you give up that bicycle:

  1. God never intended for us to be afraid. Nope, He didn’t. So wanting to give up because you fell down was never His idea. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
  2. If God placed it in you, you can do it. The things we are purposed to do are often the things that push us to our limits. This is when we must rely on the strength of God and not our own. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
  3. God called you to it. Yep, He did! And He gave you the tools to carry it out, i.e… that “bike” He gave you. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
  4. Try again. Trust God to help you carry out all that He has set before you. Look to Him to help you succeed. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” Psalms 121:1

They say, once you learn to ride a bike, you never forget. I imagine that I could still get back on and ride a trail or something, but I’d have to be willing to face that risk. I imagine that you could still get back on and “ride a trail or something” – but you’d have to be willing to take that risk of repeated failure or the surprise of sweet success.

Are we willing?

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