Thank you for writing this. Fear of failure haunts me. I appreciate and agree with your view of what failure is, and isn't -- for other people. Adopting it for myself is the challenge! You are an inspiration!
What Failure is, and Isn’t
I have had such an outpouring of love, friendship, caring, concern and overall well wishes from so many when I released the news yesterday that I’d suffered two serious, ride ending injuries. I am so grateful for all the emails, calls, texts, voicemails and personal visits as I move toward restoration.
Interestingly, I’ve had some individuals try to encourage me in “my time of failure.” That word took me by surprise because not once did I ever consider that I’d failed. I began pondering that and realized that many of us have a distorted view of failure.
The Road to Freedom hasn’t stopped. In fact, rather than pedaling to where the ministry took place last night, the ministry came to me. I sat with a house full of amazing and courageous women who have lived hard lives and have amazing stories of overcoming and triumphantly taking their lives back.
No failure there, just courage, tenacity, and victory.
As I pondered, I discovered what failure is, and what it isn’t. I’d like to share that with you:
What failure is:
1) Never attempting what you would had you followed the leading of your heart.
2) Not daring to dream.
3) Being led by excuses to not live your dream.
What failure isn’t:
1) Following your heart and winding up in a different destination.
2) Attempting to live your dream and it doesn’t work out.
3) Giving something your all but not reaching your goal.
There is a clear difference between failing and being a failure. On any given Sunday, two teams suit up and take to the gridiron. Both want to win and give it their all. Only one team can walk off the field with the win but they all are victorious. Do you realize how many successes it requires for a single player to make it to the NFL? And yet, one team loses.
The recent injuries I sustained that caused me to have to look at Dakota rather than ride him made me keenly aware that many of us have become laser-focused on the outcome rather than the journey. If things don’t turn out exactly the way they planned–and the never will–many will lump that into the failure file.
On my bike, I could plot out a route I would take in any given day. Not once did it turn out the way I planned. But, at the end of the
day, it had been a gloriously successful one. Never did I consider that day a failure, and yet, there are so many who will. The feedback I’ve received bears witness of that.
Failure is NOT having tried and ended up somewhere other than where you planned. Failure is never having tried and ending up where you were.
What is YOUR definition of failure? When was the last time you felt like you failed? Share it here!
I so agree, Reba! Besides, it never was about the destination, but always about the people you meet along the way!
Looking forward to seeing what God has in store for you next, Reba. You and the people you minister to--while they bless you in return.
No failure here.
No, this wasn't a failure: this was what God had planned all along. How else can you explain all the wonderful things that happened along your journey? What a great opportunity you had (and took) to express your complete trust and faith in the Lord! No, definitely not a failure.
Reba, I'm sorry your journey was cut short of your original destination. But I'm so thankful that you followed God's leading. Only He knows how many lives were affected by your journey. They bear witness to Him (and the world) of how successful your journey was. Thank you for riding Dakota for this cause. Freedom is something we generally take for granted. I'm glad to have the reminder to slow down and appreciate it.
I think your trip is a success. This is why, the women you minister to (and all of us) have had some tough breaks in their lives. Hmm, if I were going to pick a role model for toughness I would pick someone who had never suffered adversity, who usually sat on a couch eating chocolates, who thought raindrops were painful.
I would pick someone like you Reeba J. Hoffman! I would pick someone who was blown down a 40 foot embankment, then spent seven trips crawling up and down to retrieve fifty pounds of gear and bicycle. I would pick someone who got up each day and asked God, where do you want me to be today? I would pick someone who had been abused and then decided they would trust humanity, and sleep in the yards and homes of total strangers. And yes, I would pick someone whose knee blew out, cycling to a destination to help others. That would be the hero who would inspire me. Not someone who had never suffered.
So, in choosing my super-hero team,
I choose you.
God is good, and there is no experience He lets go to waste, what a testimony to women who are hurt and healing. :-)
Your words today are so true and so fitting. While I am sorry that Dakota will not continue with you on your journey, I have no doubts that your journey and your ministry will continue. God bless you as your body heals and as you continue to pour His healing into others.
@ValerieFoster Thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad you found some truth to call your own in this post. Sometimes we have to turn off the tapes in our head and unplug from the video of the past.
@suzyparish Awesome and true comment, Suzy. So glad you said.
@dtopliff You bet, Dee! Thanks for being a faithful follower and spreader of the word!