Category Archives: LIES

Failure Refines Me

I came across a quote this past week that started me thinking back over failures in my life with a new light.

Failure does not define me.

Failure refines me.

So many things I have tried, experienced, attempted did not turn out the way I wanted them to.

There were times I chose to accept that as an ending. Relationships failed, career opportunities ended, learning ceased.

I had difficulty looking at this. I found myself paralyzed, looking at the failures and remaining the mindset of defeat. “I am a failure, nothing I do is right.”

I call that thing Abstract Absolutes.

Webster defines “abstract” as disassociated from any specific instance; and defines “absolute” as positive, unquestionable.

An “Abstract Absolute” occurs when you take one moment of non-success and make it into an ALWAYS

Example:  I just messed up making dinner tonight. It didn’t turn out right. I always do this. I cannot cook. I am a failure in the kitchen. I can’t even boil water!

WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES?!?!?!

The truth in that scenario: I have fixed 3 meals a day without any problems for weeks/months/years. I had an issue tonight. That’s all it is. Something went wrong tonight with this one meal. I am a good cook who just didn’t fix a tasty meal this one time.

I had to choose to look differently at these moment. As I looked again, with a new mindset, I found that I grew in those times when I looked at what could be considered a failure and chose to work past it, learning, growing, refining.

I had to choose to look differently at the situation to intentionally learn and move forward.

Long time comedian, George Burns tells that when he started performing, he would do so bad that he would change his name so that booking agents would hire him, not knowing of the last failure. He learned from each failed performance, improving and perfecting his skills.

I didn’t have to change my name, but I have had to look at each ‘performance’ to improve and perfect my skills.

I will not please everyone.

Not everyone will like me.

This was a hard lesson to learn, but accepting it has helped me to move forward. For every criticism I received, there will be 9 compliments. I must choose to focus on the compliment. I can look at the criticism and determine it’s validity. If there is something there, learn from and grow. But I must not dwell and stop.

This week’s journal prompt asks you to look at your refining moments. CELEBRATE!! You have come a long way.

You may not be where you want to be, but look at how far you have come.

If you are comfortable doing so, please share your refining moments or thoughts.

Journal Prompt – I Will Face My Fear

I love the song “Fear is a Liar” by Zack Williams. (Click to see the official youtube video)

I love saying the words “FEAR is a LIAR!!!” Oh, the emotion I put into that phrase.

I started focusing on calling out and facing fears one by one a couple of years ago. As I made a list of lies I was believing I focused on one at a time.

As one would go away and I would step past it I would move to the next one. Slowly they started melting away. Over time it became easier to notice the lies.

I would love to say I am strong and harbor no lies at this time. But I can’t. I don’t know if I ever will.

But I do know this. For every lie I face down, I am strengthened. Slowly, I find myself noticing the lie before it becomes a belief.

How about you?

What fears are holding you back?
What are they preventing you from doing?

Call one out this week. Declare it a LIE. Face it down. How will you move forward?

Your Self-Worth Does Not Come From the Opinions of Others

Kansas City is currently in celebration.

Yesterday, the Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC Championship and are now headed to the Super Bowl, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

I am not a big sports fan, but I will admit to climbing on the celebration wagon. But this post is not about the Kansas City Chiefs. Well, not exactly.

Patrick Mahomes came to the team in 2017. He has shown himself to be an impressive leader and player. He is the talk of the town, and the country right now. Many are excited about this man.

A recent Kansas City Star article points out not everyone thought Patrick would make a good player when he was first drafted. Some of the comments of that time quoted in the article include:

Stephen A Smith✔@stephenasmith Damn this. You’ve got to be kidding me. Patrick MaHomes gets picked over DeShaun Watson? Really. Why bother working out for these teams!!!

The Chiefs got a C-minus from Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News. He wrote: “Trading up for Mahomes, a big-armed gunslinger who really doesn’t mesh with the true mentality as Alex Smith’s successor, set up a bad tone in this draft.”

Steven Ruiz of USA Today gave the Chiefs a C-minus for picking Mahomes. He wrote: “Calling Mahomes a project is a major understatement. He’s nowhere near ready to play in the NFL. And, honestly, he may never be. Between his inconsistent accuracy due to poor mechanics, his tendency to bail from clean pockets and his lack of field vision, he’s going to leave as many big plays on the field as he creates. This was a risky pick.”

It would be easy for Patrick Mahomes to read these comments and feel inferior, less than worthy of the position he was selected for. But he didn’t. He worked hard to learn, to improve his skills, and to become the man he is today. He got productive training and coaching.

What happens when you get ‘bad press’; when you hear someone comment how you will never measure up; when you have stepped out to try something that wasn’t successful?

Do you accept that as your self-worth, living in defeat?

Or do you, like Patrick Mahomes, look away from the negativity and toward the goal, finding those along the way who are able to help you grow?

Your self-worth is not determined by the opinions of others. Ephesians 2:10 says we are a masterpiece, made by God. In Psalm 139:14 we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Don’t let others declare your self-worth. Accept the truth from God, your creator. Step forward, accept the truth and look away from the negativity of others.

Let them stay in the muck of negative talk while you grow and improve and become all you can. Don’t let their opinion determine your self-worth.

You are worth far more than their opinion.

Renew My Thoughts

Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. – Ephesians 4:23NLT

I stand in front of the mirror and face my biggest critic. I see all of her faults. I am reminded of her failures. I struggle as I hear her words grow louder in my head.

  • You are no good.
  • You are ugly
  • Another day, another screw-up.

Ephesians 4:23 tells us to ‘Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” I have to drown out those negative voices with the truth. I must change my thoughts, my attitudes. I need to let the Spirit renew them.

To do so I must find other thoughts to dwell on. Philippians 4:8 guides us in this by telling us to dwell on whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute.

Both verses show this is not a magic pill or an immediate flip of the switch. It also shows this is something I have control over. Once I accept I do have control over this, I must choose to dwell on what is right and let the Spirit work within me.

I can and am able to take control of my negative self-talk.

One way I have chosen to do this is by using the acronym LIES. I must look at, evaluate, and replace the negativity, the lies that I use against myself and replace them with the truth.

James Allen, in his book “As A Man Thinketh” writes

All that you accomplish or fail to accomplish with your life is the direct result of your thoughts. You are today where your thoughts have brought you;’ you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.

Getting to this point of negative self-talk took time to develop and it will take time to move away from it. It will take work and dedication. I will fail along the way, but that won’t be the end of it. I will capture the wrong thinking, discard it, remind myself of the truth, and move forward.

I am a member of a local Toastmasters Club and recently presented a 7-minute speech titled “Don’t Lie To Me”. In it, I explore the LIES that plague me daily and struggle to face them down. You can watch the presentation here.

I am who God says I am. Over the next few months, I am going to explore what this means. Will you join me on the journey?

If you want to follow this series, look for the category “LIES” to more easily find the corresponding posts.