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how to overcome failure

How to Overcome Failure: 5 Steps to Restart Your Life

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Do you want to know how to overcome failure? Most of us have felt like a failure at one time or another. It’s hard to admit because, frankly, who wants to look like they don’t have it all together?

In reality, you go to bed after a horrible day and pray the next day will be better. Many times, a new day does give a more hopeful perspective on life, and we move on.

Unfortunately, there are the other days when you wake up and think it was all a nightmare only to realize you are not only living it, you are the star of the show.

In fact, it feels worse than the day before, and you wonder if life will ever get back to normal.

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how to overcome failure

In a recent post about difficult times, I showed why God allows pain in our lives and uses it for good. To illustrate the point, I used a word picture of a garden and how God, the Master Gardner, sometimes has to do surgery on his plants (us) to bear fruit.

In this post, you will learn how to overcome failure or loss with another word picture. I will continue with the garden theme. You will see how everything has a purpose.

Nothing goes to waste, especially your horrible failure or loss.

How to Overcome Failure

It is ironic that I am using a garden as a word picture because I’m not a gardener by any stretch of the means. However, I do like planting flowers in my backyard. Unfortunately, I have a black thumb. Sadly, I kill my plants one way or another.

When they are dead, my husband puts it in the compost pile.

Just like the plants, things in our life die too. Perhaps a dream, your health, a marriage, a wayward child, or even a lost job. The most painful, the death of a loved one.

Whatever the loss, we wonder where God is in our darkest hour. It is then the composting process begins.

“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes. that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2 ESV).

Related: When You Feel Like You Have Failed as a Parent

What is composting?

Composting is a natural process of turning dead things (organic material) into a dark rich substance. It is the  “soul of healthy soil.” When you add compost to your yard or garden your plants grow bigger and are stronger. In fact, this is the way to keep pests away.

The best kind of organic material is not only dead things but poop. Isn’t it ironic this is what gives life?  Dead things and waste are the best way to start something new.

It takes time for the compost to be useable though. It has to sit for three or four months to break down and rot.

What about the dead things in your life? Or something you think is a waste?

Perhaps, you have a sin that you let go too far, and it almost destroyed you. Whatever it is, God can use this horrible failure for good, if you will let Him.

It may be too raw right now, but with time and healing, your experiences can help bring life to others if you deal with it properly first.

In order for this to happen, you have to be willing to be broken (sit in the compost pile for a while) so it can turn into fertilizer. This is how to overcome failure in your life. Allow God to work.

What you thought was a terrible failure or loss is actually fertilizer for something new in the future. 

I think this verse sums it up best. It is a composting verse!
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28 (NIV).

RELATED: The Ugly Truth About Shame, Embarrassment, and Guilt

Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart book.

Purchase your ebook or paperback on Amazon or your favorite digital store.

How to Restart Your Life After Failure

If you want to know how to restart your life after failure, you start at the beginning. You acknowledge the failures and go to the root of the problem.

When was the seed first planted in your heart?

Many times it goes back to a childhood hurt. Rejection from parents, siblings, other kids, or another type of traumatic event that changed your thinking.

Usually, bad thinking is rooted in a lie in some way. Until you deal with the original hurt and forgive, you are probably going to keep going in circles.

In a nutshell, this is what you need to do to overcome failure:

  1. Acknowledge the failure. (Pull up the plant)
  2. Deal with the lies, hurt, and pain. (Put it in the compost pile)
  3. Forgive. (Sit and let God work)
  4. Start new habits and behaviors. (Pull it out of the pile)
  5. Help others who are struggling. (Compost)

Sounds easy, but this process could take a while. I had to seek counseling. Number two took me 16 months to unravel. This is truly how to overcome failure.

Kari Jobe has a beautiful song called “The Garden.” It is a great example of how God has used a terrible situation (death in the family) for good. This is so powerful. Watch this!

 

How Do You Overcome Repeated Failure?

It’s not easy to overcome repeated failure and disappointment. However, it seems that failure is the best teacher when it comes to growth. Think back in your own life. When have you grown the most or run to God? It probably wasn’t when you got that last promotion or award.

It’s is only when we face obstacles and trials that we start looking outside of ourselves for answers. Sadly, this is when many people get tripped up and blame God when, in fact, He may actually be drawing us to Him through our failures.

If you are repeatedly failing at something, it is time to evaluate your actions. In fact, some serious prayer is in order.  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is God moving me in another direction?
  2. Am I stubborn or unteachable due to pride?
  3. Do I need to ask for help?
  4. Am I stuck in bad thinking?
  5. Am I willing to change and grow?
  6. Do I need to forgive?

If you want to know how to overcome failure, be willing to explore the “root” of what is going on. It is going to take some “digging” to get to the truth.

How Do I Be Positive After Failure?

If you want to be positive after a failure, then let God take your pain and use it to help others who are a few steps behind you.

Furthermore, use your failures to plant new things in your own life. Your suffering and experiences will not be a waste when you do this.

Ironically, it is the best way to help you heal from any lingering pain you may still have from your failure or loss.

I pray you have learned something about how nature reflects life. The Master Gardener does know what He is doing. You can trust him with your life.

Did you learn how to overcome failure or loss? What have you done to make something good out of your pain?

Got Big Family Problems? There is Help!

Are you experiencing family problems or even estranged? Are you feeling shame, anger, or rejection? You can overcome failure. Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family, but it also gives solid tips to help you with your own family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.

Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart book with a single tree on the book

Creating Family Memories Book

Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids.  It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.

A farm scene with a farmhouse upside down sitting on a grass field with a lake in the background.

Join Christian Family Living Facebook Group

Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to share their experiences and get helpful tools to navigate the Christian life. We love to laugh, cry, and encourage each other to live out our faith one day at a time.

 

24 thoughts on “How to Overcome Failure: 5 Steps to Restart Your Life”

  1. I need to be broken the compost pile before I can be used to fertilize others too. That is so true. That is where the enemy loses the battle. When God takes what was broken and makes it beautiful for others again. Love this post …

  2. I can most definitely attest to when we help others it can help you continue to heal in your own brokenness. I loved the analogy that you have used here. It really puts this process of what we can do to help us both avoid and heal in failure and loss.

  3. What a beautiful song! I like all your analogies to a garden (despite having only a very small green thumb and hating gardening as a kid). My loss was of my job back in 2017 after months of trying to stay in the area and getting nothing. It took six months to find a new job, but holy cow — it’s so much better, the people are amazing, I’m doing stuff I love, and I feel valuable. And none of that would’ve happened if I had held on to my old location so fiercely. I also probably wouldn’t have started my blog either!

    1. That is a really neat story. I am so glad you let God compost a really hard situation and let Him work. It is sure hard to see any beauty when you are in the situation, but when you look back you can see how you grew.

  4. I love this! I needed to sit in the compost and be broken before I could be used to fertilize others too. I love how you put this post together. Very tender, creative, honest and deep all at the same time! Blessings to you in 2019! ❤

  5. I particularly love your composting analogy. So good! God allows things that are dead, gross, or bad in our lives so that glory will be brought to His name and good will be formed in our lives through it. He will shape us and make us beautiful through the very ugly things we have to deal with in our lives.

    1. Kristin, this is so true. He can use our worst and turn it into something good if we will let Him. He gets the glory for every situation. I am so glad He can do something awesome with our messes.

  6. Thank you for the inspiration – no matter how bad things have been or if the memory lingers on. Sometimes we do the best we know at the time. Ignorance is often “not bliss” and can make some huge mistakes. Good post and a healthy reminder!

    1. I think it is such a great reminder that nothing is wasted when God is involved. We are blessed to have a God who loves us and will do anything to redeem a loss or failure.

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