Have you ever looked back on your life and thought, “Wow, I really messed up.”
It hits you like a ton of bricks out of nowhere. One minute you’re thinking about your future opportunities and the next thing you know, your thoughts are clouded with negative images of your past mistakes.
Suddenly, you find yourself feeling defeated… lonely… pathetic… incapable…
I think it’s only natural for humans to think that way. We live in a world that surrounds us with pictures of ‘perfection’ and gives us outlets to potentially reach that lofty (and highly unattainable) goal.
By the time we’ve tried and failed a few times, we’ve sunken into this pit of feeling like we aren’t worthy of anything, whether it be happiness, love, friendship, or whatever else.
Enter Enticing Failure: Accepting Defeat Without Trying Anymore
We finally get to a point where we’ve gone so low that we don’t want to try anymore. There is no longer hope in our future. All we do is look back on the failures we’ve experienced and accept them as our future fate.
I’ve already tried to get that job promotion and failed the first two times, so what’s the point in even trying anymore?
Every time I start eating healthy, I find myself going on a sugar binge a few days in. I’ve lost all hope that I can do this!
I desire so strongly to be loved but every relationship seems to fail. I can’t help but think that it’s my fault. Being single is my safe place now… it means I won’t be hurt by someone again.
You may have a similar story in your head. Sometime, somewhere, we’ve all experienced a life event (or several) that made us feel as if there is no hope for change. When we finally get so sick of feeling like we aren’t good enough, we hide in our fears and accept failure before we’ve even had a chance to overcome it.
Looking Forward Isn’t Always Easy…
You’re are absolutely right! Looking forward might be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. You may be suffering from a terminal illness, experiencing a heartbreak, losing your job, or drowning in debt. These are all SO very overwhelming and suffocating to the soul. It hurts. Hope is harder. Failure is easier.
But it’s a trap.
You see, if we accept defeat and failure, we are showing the world that we are okay with going through the motions. Sure, life will go on and the days will come and go, but are we really living out the purpose we each have on this earth?
No… we’re a sinking ship who is doing more reaping than sowing.
Think of it this way: Imagine being a baseball pitcher in a tied game in the ninth inning with two outs, bases loaded, and a full count. As you stand on the mound, you think about the last time this situation played out and you lost. Are you going to cave to the fear or pull out your best pitch and hope that it works out this time?
Why Looking Forward is Important… and Scary
Did I lose you in all the sports talk? If so, let me explain it to you this way…
The truth is that we never know what is going to happen. The only things we know for sure are what happened in the past and where we are at now. That’s why failure is so enticing… it’s comforting to know what happens because then we aren’t set up to be upset or vulnerable again.
Unfortunately, that comfort comes at a cost.
When we stop looking forward… stop hoping… we lose out on the ability to not only better ourselves, but to better the world we live in. You may be going through a terrible event right now, but you have a choice – you can either live in the fear that comes along with the statistics and past experiences, or you can have hope that this event is going to make a positive change somehow.
But that’s hard.
You bet it is. It sucks. It’s scary. But you know what? That leap into hope could be the most life-changing experience of your life.
I don’t know about you, but at the end of the day, I want to say that I lived in hope and didn’t fall victim to my past mistakes and fears.
Looking Forward Creates Hope, Looking Back Creates Fear
This concept isn’t an easy one to pursue. I’m still working at it just as much as the next person!
If you’re struggling to stop living in your failure and you want to look forward in hope, say some of these things to yourself:
- Whatever happened yesterday does not have to affect me today
- This situation is hard, but good can be made from it
- Sometimes taking risks leads to the biggest rewards
- My life was made with a bigger purpose in mind
- I was not made to fail, but to be strengthened through my struggles
I hope this message finds you well and that you can move forward in hope, knowing that you are being perfected through the trials and struggles you are experiencing. If you’d like to share anything in the comments below, I’d love to be an encouragement or supporter for you.