Fresh Hope – 29th November 2018

Have you ever got offended by someone who told you that what you were doing wasn’t right? Or pointed out your mistake?

I recently got some feedback in my job that was more ‘constructive’, than encouraging. I learnt that I don’t handle criticism too well. I like to do everything perfectly. I don’t like to make mistakes. I felt really discouraged afterwards.

Our response toward feedback and own mistakes tells us a lot about who we are and where our security and sense of identity is at.

Many of us are experiencing ‘death by fertiliser’. The very thing that is supposed to make us grow, we are letting suffocate us, and kill us rather than allowing it to make us flourish. Seeds need to be buried in dirt before they can grow. Many of us are buried in our jobs, marriages, life circumstances etc, and rather than seeing it as the process to growth, we are letting it become the death of us.

Ask yourself, ‘how do I respond to mistakes and feedback?’. Do they inspire me to win? We can’t let our shortcomings shake our identity. We need guts, and patience toward taking on advice and overcoming our areas for improvement.

There is a quote I recently read and love, ‘The greatest secret of winners is that failure inspires winning; thus they are not afraid of losingLosers avoid failing. And failure turns losers into winners’.

There is a difference between hating losing and being afraid to lose. There is a big difference between hating to make mistakes and being afraid to make them. For many of us, the pain of honest feedback is greater than the freedom it could bring, so we avoid it, and thus stunt our growth in the process.

When we are secure in how God sees us, we are free from the need to constantly seek out praise and affirmation from man. We cannot only handle feedback, but actively seek it out.  The most successful people, and they are often the minority, are people who are serious about getting advice. They intentionally seek out the hard truth. They create a network of mentors around them. They want their shortcomings identified and lovingly sharpened. They know that protecting their egos isn’t going to serve them well in the end.

Winston Churchill had to repeat a grade at school, and failed two entrance exams. Thomas Edison was asked how it felt to fail his light bulb design 100 times and his response was, ‘I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was 1000 steps’. Louis Pasteur was ranked 15th out of 22 students in chemistry. Henry Ford went broke five times before he succeeded. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. His response, ‘I’ve failed over and over again in my life, this is why I succeeded’.

What is your attitude toward your mistakes? Does it kill you? Or make you stronger?

In the words of Proverbs 12:15, The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. The lessons learnt from mistakes and honest feedback, are the fertilisersof your seed to success!

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.