Failure: Let’s Do It Together
Sitting in a quiet coffee shop, I was intently listening to an older couple talk about their journey through financial literacy. As they told their story, they began to open up about their struggles and future fears. It became more and more clear that they were afraid of not only pushing off
The fear of failure has spread through society right to the bone. And it’s not just limited to financial literacy; fear is in everything else, too. It’s in your workplace, relationships, home, family, future, and even the clothes that you shop for. We manifest our fears in all sorts of different ways, but they always come up as questions in our minds: “What if they don’t like me? Will they laugh at me? Am I going to disappoint them?” The questions are endless, but the fear is all the same. We are a culture that is afraid to fail.
Failure Is Normal
Why shouldn’t we be afraid? It’s not like failure is a good thing. I don’t feel good when I let someone down or make a fool of myself, and neither would you. But we don’t talk about that. We don’t talk about when we fall. Instead, we pretend that we have it all together. We act as if we haven’t failed, but inside, we are struggling. We don’t know what we are doing with our marriages, careers, future, or even figuring out who we are. This facade is what helps create fear. If we were surrounded by honesty about failure, there would be much less to be afraid of. That’s why it’s such a relief to hear that you’re not the only one struggling! You are never the only one. You are never alone.
Over the years, I’ve met with quite a few people to talk about financial literacy. The one thing people always expect is the boring stuff like saving receipts and punching in numbers. But as it turns out, people aren’t walking calculators. It’s not long before there is a conversation about their passions and fears. These deeply personal conversations reveal the whole purpose of financial literacy: to live and give the way God intended. If you want to live out the purpose God has given you, then you need to push through the fear.
“God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”2 Timothy 1:7
Failures Form Your Story
Sometimes, you will push through and fail anyway. Other times, you will succeed. But in the end, this isn’t just about getting over fear. It’s also about changing the way our culture views failure, especially when it comes to financial literacy. People will go to all sorts of lengths to hide their fears by keeping up a lifestyle they can’t afford. After all, we live in a culture where someone can look wealthy and be completely broke at the same time. Many people don’t have the courage to talk about failure. But what they don’t realize is that their failures help form their story. You can’t have a hero without adversity. You can’t have a victory without a battle. Your story is what will inspire people to rise above their fears. Your failures help shape you into the person that God wants you to be.
So talk about it. Bring up the times you fall. Tell them about how you got back up over and over again. Help the people around you realize that they are not alone.
We all fail at something, so let’s fail together.
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