I was hiking with a bud the other day and we get on the discussion of feelings and how men generally avoid them or share them infrequently. In particular, during the times we feel like we failed at something or someone. Truth be told, if I fail then that means I am a failure correct? It’s like if I tell a lie, then I am to assume that makes me a liar. This is what society, and cultural beliefs will tell you, but it goes beyond that. There must be context taken into consideration to assess a situation appropriately. Look, I do not encourage lies but I know people do and one thing I’ve learned is that the truth always comes out and it makes for your life to get worse not better. To me that’s straight forward, but in the case of “feeling” like a failure, there is so much more to consider. Feelings, although God-given and can be good, may often lead you astray. Feelings are that part of us that expresses great joy and happiness and, on another day, convinces us to “crash and burn” royally. Plus, there’s so much in between those two to consider. In a manner of speaking, it’s like the birth date and a death date on a tombstone. Between those two dates there is a whole lifetime to evaluate and piece together about someone’s life.
Every guy encounters moments where he just feels like a failure and more times than not, it is because of guilt. We didn’t do something we promised or committed to and now it’s time to face the music. The easiest escape is to place a big fat sign on your forehead that reads “I am a failure”. Yup, plain and simple, and once I do that, I can move on…or so it seems. Guys, let me assure you that you just don’t move on. You think about it, dwell on it, guilt yourself again and again, so much so that the whole cycle of “failed” moments begin again and you find yourself back at square one. If you’re not careful you may begin to believe this sad impression that is totally not true and certainly not, you! We all do that, but we need to know that these setbacks don’t define you and certainly are not representative of who you are. Here are a couple of things I’d love for you to consider and remember during these times.
REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE AND WHO YOU BELONG TO
It can be very easy to soak in what someone else is telling you about your mistake and they can be very convincing in what they are saying. This person speaking is more than likely the person that was depending on you to have kept your word but for whatever reason, you didn’t, and now here we are with one very disappointed person using some very colorful language to make you aware that they’re not happy. As hard as it may be, I’d like for you to keep in mind that they are speaking from a very emotional stance, where unpleasant words may be said and may be even harder to hear but hold your tongue and allow them to speak their peace. Hey, you messed up so this is part of the consequences that happen. Above everything you hear, hear this, they are generally addressing a behavior, in this case, your behavior, and as life would have it, let them down.
Define Your Life According to God, Not According to Others
Face it, we all change and adjust according to what life hands us and more times than not, we do a great job. Someone said, “what you think about yourself is most important, and what others think about you is not important at all”. The point to this is that you should not live life according to what others think about you. Without a doubt, you want to be liked for who you are, but keep in mind, others do not recognize who you are on the inside because all they know is what you display to them on the outside. You and God are the only ones that know your inner being, your internal spirit, all the things that make you who you are. So, how do you define yourself? Read about what you mean to God, think about where you came from and where you are headed, and do you really love yourself in terms of a healthy respect? You can do life without any of these, but life was meant to be lived with all of these. You are important in many ways, many methods, and to many people.
Set goals for yourself, be who God calls you to be in your integrity, ethics, and morality. Allow these goals to stretch you, to uncover more of you, and find meaning in your purpose in life. Afterall, you do have a purpose, so discover it, learn it, and live it out.
Imagine a New You!
There are lots of material and articles that can help you assess where you may be right now, and perhaps guide you to be the person you want to be, but keep in mind that they all have one thing in common, YOU. You are the one that decides to be different, to be wholly committed to be the person God wants you to be and who YOU want to be. Without your permission and willingness, life will continue to be what it is. No difference, no changes, no nothing. Nothing but the same old same old. Is this what you desire or want? Of course you don’t, but you may have to step down from your current life and promote yourself to a better life. That sounds weird right? I mean after all there is no tangible way to do this except in the mind, your mind. You are the only one who can decide to change, and although God could change you by a mere snap of His fingers, He prefers you do it. He wants you to be willing to accept a new role for yourself. He’s already defined you, but you have to recognize and accept that definition for you. Today is there any reason you cannot challenge yourself to be different, to be better than who you were yesterday? To accept an unfamiliar, and perhaps uncomfortable path in front of you but knowing the path is not the focal point, you are! Imagine yourself as a new and improved product. Not like the store commercials that evolve constantly and never meet expectations because they market a new and even better product. A new you is waiting to be transformed into the very likeness of God through Jesus Christ. Not like the storybook genie that comes out of the lamp and easily grants wishes, but like a moth that evolves into the beautiful butterfly. No longer encumbered, no longer ugly, but born new. Now your inner beauty exudes, now your purpose is more defined, liberated to fly as high as you want. Reimagine your life accepting what God has for you, living out your life on the road He has already prepared for you and never ever having to live life according to others. It’s your choice my brother…no one can choose for you.