What Goatees Teach Us About Failure
I had an epileptic fit last month, which left some cuts on my face, and stopped me shaving for a while. As a result, a goatee began to grow on my face. And because people like it, and the scar hasn’t fully healed yet, I’m yet to shave it off.
It’s looking like becoming a full grown goatee. I’m not looking forward to making the decision whether or not to shave it off.
But it’s got messy. It’s overgrowing. I asked a friend who’s grown one, and he said this is a stage which often happens when growing facial hair. After the cool stubble phase, and before it goes to the smoother, more easy to control hair, there is an in-between stage, where it looks a little overgrown and messy.
Rough. Slightly discomforting, and not perfectly formed.
I couldn’t help thinking the process of growing a goatee, is a bit like the process of growth we all experience.
We start off like wildfire, with great forward momentum. It’s new, it’s exciting and, lets face it, pretty cool. Like stubble. We like the feeling this new thing gives us, the buzz, the energy. The romance.
But then it gets messy. Rough. Awkward. We feel uncomfortable. We’re think about giving up. Although quitting would be a little painful, it’s still possible.
I’ve experienced this recently. A number of failures and setbacks, some humbling experiences, have compelled me to enter into a period of reflection. To examine myself, my motives, my passion and even my calling. I had periods where I’ve seriously considered quitting blogging and sharing my work, and to just write for myself.
However, I can’t quit now. Quitting would be the easy path. Like shaving off my goatee just because it felt uncomfortable (if I did shave it off, discomfort wouldn’t be the reason). Just write for myself, not risk impacting no one’s lives and getting no response to my work. If I quit, there’s no way I can fail.
But is this a reason to quit? Maybe, for some. Life is a whole lot easier if you don’t put yourself out there and risk it for the sake of others. Especially if you’ve already tried and it’s not gone as you’d like.
Very tempting. But not courageous. Not a stimulus for growth. And I know I’ll regret it.
I’m still undecided on my goatee. But I’m certain when it comes to writing. I’m not going to give up. Crazily, I’m going to keep going. I’m going to take some time, reflect, pray, go back to the to the heart of my calling to write. Then I’ll go write some more, from the heart. And I’ll jump again. I’ll risk. With no guarantee of the outcome. Because it’s the right thing to do.
There’s never a guarantee of success in life. None. But this shouldn’t stop us. (go on, tweet that)
If we go through life not risking because we’re afraid to fail, we won’t ever become the people we were created to be. Because what I’ve learned is failure is as much a part of God’s plan for us as success.
Maybe you began something for the new year and are considering giving up. Maybe you pursued a calling and it’s not going so well. Maybe it’s something else. But don’t be afraid to keep risking. And if you fail, don’t see it as the end. See it as an opportunity to grow.
If you feel like giving up, take a moment and think. Reflect. Go back to your heart and remember why you began, what your calling is.
And go again. Step out. Risk. Dare to be you.
Whether you succeed or fail, you won’t ever regret risking.
Do you agree or disagree with me? Why/Why not?
Have you tended to quit when things got difficult before?
How can you overcome the temptation to quit and push through to growth?
Let me know in the comments below!
This is my entry to a writing contest, ‘Overcoming Writer’s Doubt’ held by Positive Writer.com. It wasn’t originally written with this contest in mind, but I felt it fitted absolutely with the theme of doubt, so entered it. You can find out more here.
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