Success starts with willingness to confront failure

18 Oct

Ever heard of “hedonic editing”? I had no idea what it meant either – until I read this illuminating article about failure.

The author brilliantly highlights the human struggle to accept failure. We might not all respond to failure in the same way, yet as human beings, we will generally choose one of the following options: denial, loss-chasing or rose-tinted justification. Sometimes, life might be easier if we could just say, “I think I made a mistake”. Yet it is seemingly so hard to do. As he says, “our capacity to reinterpret our past decisions as having worked out brilliantly is a very deep one”.

We need “safe spaces to fail” in order to be willing to make mistakes. Some might say that the church provides such spaces but, if I’m honest, I cannot wholeheartedly agree with this suggestion. Should the church be the provider of safe spaces, contexts where failure is accepted, encouraged and seen as part of the journey towards “success”? Yes. But is it? In my experience – rarely. You might feel differently, please let me know if you do. Let me know too if you feel “success” is far more valued in the church than failure – I want us to be able to have conversations about these things.

p.s. I think I might just have to get hold of the author’s book now!

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