The Proverbs 31 Woman does not fear failure. Not because she’s perfect, and has never tasted failure, but because she has eaten of the fruit of failure, tasted it’s bitterness, but discovered that it was not fatal in its poison.

The number one reason people do not succeed is because they do not try.

Never was long-term success gained without short-term failure.

Failure may very well be the #1 indicator of future success!

If you want to succeed, you must first be willing to fail, and be willing to overcome your fear of failure.

Yes, winners visualize themselves on the podium, and that is what drives them to succeed, but if they have not formed a wary warfare with failure, they will eventually be brought down by their own phobias.

Failure is a worthy opponent, and the wise person will welcome it into the amphitheater of accomplishment, and give it a seat of honor on the stepping stone to the victor’s podium. For failure is a stepping stone to success.

Unless you can overcome the fear of failure and defeat, you will never try to accomplish great things.

Failure is not a chain that binds, but the links that forge a stronger chain that hauls you closer to success.

Once when my daughter was in second grade she had an art project to complete. The assignment was to draw each square of a graphed picture, to reproduce the whole picture, one square at a time.  She became frustrated because each square didn’t look perfect, and the ‘big picture’ didn’t look like she envisioned. Her paper was smudged and worn thin by her constant erasures. Her need for perfection was stifling her ability to complete the project.

Finally my husband freed her from a lifetime of first-born perfectionism by wisely declaring a Solomonesque ultimatum. “If it is perfect when you are finished, I will punish you.”

Her eyes got big, as she seriously got to work and completed her art project quickly and quietly with no further frustration. The end result was not perfect (and she was very relieved at the imperfection!), but her project was perfectly appropriate for the lesson that day.

She has never striven for perfection since, and I am so proud of my imperfect daughter! She takes joy in trying new things, and in the process, creating beautiful works of art, and she is more afraid of perfection than of failure. She doesn’t like failure, and she doesn’t seek it, but neither is it some scary thing to avoid.

She has discovered that failure is a worthy opponent.

And her love of excellence has overcome her need for perfection.

If you intend to be a Proverbs 31 Woman, then you must realize that failure is not worth fearing –  invite it into the ring, pull on your gloves, and give it a few swings. You might take a hit or two, but I think you will take this round, and maybe even win the match!

And just for fun, I want to share one of the latest projects of that little-girl-turned-young-woman, who learned that punishment accompanied perfection. . . but failure was a fabulous alternative to the self-punishment of perfection. Excellence was good enough!

Laurel's Necktie Chair

She likes to take old things and turn them into something ‘Abundantly More‘, so she reupholstered this chair with neck ties. . . even though she’d never upholstered anything before. She didn’t have a pattern or a book; she just took the chair apart, saw how it was put together, and developed her own pattern. Fear of failure is no longer an option for her — because even short-term failure is merely a predictable precursor to success!!

So, dear woman, if you have been afraid to try new things because you might not be perfect, well I’m just wishing for some fabulous failure for you! Go out there and fail big! And have fun in your failure. Laugh at your failure. And go back and try again. Perfection is not the goal! You can do it! Aim for failure! Because after a few failed attempts, you will be successful, I’m sure!

In my failure and weakness, His strength shines through (II Cor. 12:10),


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Won Without Words by Shari Popejoy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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