I AM A Failure

Not living up to my own expectations is quite a challenge. I admit it, I tend to be extremely hard on myself. Some have speculated whether or not this is part of a complex known as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). I would argue that it’s pride. I’m a failure, I just need to accept it.

Being a perfectionist is a pain. One of the most dangerous aspects of being a perfectionist is the inability to accept failure; mostly, in ourselves. This goes beyond a mere disappointment in our performance and jumps straight to obsessive occupation of the mind. We can’t seem let go the fact that we didn’t do as well as we would have liked.

As an adult this is hard enough, now imagine you’re a child. How do we teach our children that it’s okay to fail? And, just as importantly, when to get back up and try again?

Remain Calm – Don’t add to the situation by getting frustrated and emotional. Take a breath, pray, and then move on.

Take Stock of the Situation – Every situation offers something to learn. While we may have ‘failed’ at our initial (or subsequent) attempt at this current goal, each new attempt offers something to learn by.

Focus On What’s Important – Don’t lose sight of what your true purpose was in this endeavor. Stay focused on the main goal and keep working.

Don’t Compare – You are not other people. Don’t worry about how others could have or would have done better. You are you; do your best and keep trying. What more can anyone ask?

Move On – Not all situations need to be tried again and again, despite popular opinion. Assess each situation and decide which would be best. If trying again is what’s needed, then do so. However, don’t be afraid to move on to something completely different, if this goal no longer becomes important. It is okay to walk away from some goals.

Perfectionism can be a good thing, if managed properly and kept in perspective. We just need to remember that we’re all human and failing is just another important lesson in life.

Time to Chime In: Do you have children who are perfectionists? How do you help them through moments of failure?

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10


15 thoughts on “I AM A Failure

  1. Oh, yes. He gets it from me. Fortunately, I have learned through the years how to change mine. LOL. I went from being crazy type A to relaxed and calm-99% of the time. I had to get rid of that monkey brain in my head. We are working on staying in the present, breathing and focusing only on things that we can control and change for the better. Great topic that I think will hit home to many people.


  2. I am and unfortunately both of my kids are too 😦 Where as it’s not a bad thing it can be frustrating. With my son, I have to make him walk away from it or he will stay there until it is made right. My daughter on the other hand will dive herself nuts until it’s done, sometimes to the point of crying if I don’t stop her. Both of them I handle similarly but a little different. My son , I have to force to walk away to rethink what he is doing. My daughter, I have to redirect her attention to something else until she calms down and can go try again. It can be hard at times but they are learning as well to know when they get to that point.


  3. Both of my children say “I’m just not very good at this” every day. Even if my oldest does something as simple as forgetting to make his “l” touch the top line. Or my youngest (four) says a letter sound wrong. I always tell them that it takes practice and that we just have to try again. And then my husband pointed it out to me. “I forgot to put vanilla in these muffins.” “I didn’t get to the store today. I’m sorry.” “I can’t keep home schooling. It’s just too hard.” I need to set a good example and say “I wonder how these will taste without vanilla?” “Hey, didn’t make it to the store. We’ll go in the morning.” Or “Man, today was rough. I hope tomorrow goes better.” Their insecurities are a direct reflection on my insecurities. I have to lead by example. It is a hard habit to break and it takes constant diligence to overcome.
    This post was exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you!
    Good luck and blessings to you and yours.


  4. Most people feel they’re not ‘good enough’…and when we come to accept that we ARE, we, our kids & us, will be happier & let go of the stuff that fills life but has no meaning other than to add noise to our lives.


  5. My oldest gets perfectionism from both her parents. . . and she’s like me in the fact that if she isn’t naturally “good” at something she won’t work at improving it. That’s like, lazy perfectionism, or something. Ha! Actually it’s probably more of a control issue. And she gets that from both of us as well. . .


  6. Reblogged this on DJ Mynatt – Inspirational Author and commented:
    This is an awesome blogpost! No matter what the task is, I believe it’s important to teach children to do their very best!

    It’s OK to strive for perfection, as long as you realize what you will obtain is “your best” – which most always falls short of perfection! Not being able to reach perfection is NOT a reason to do sloppy work or not care how things turn out…

    I know that I can type what appears to be a “perfect letter”… I’m just saying that I am not perfect, so rarely will something I do turn out “perfect”. That’s ok… I’m still going to do my best and hope the mistakes are far and few…


  7. Pingback: Developing a Teachable Spirit | A Homeschool Mom

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