Trying gets a bad wrap. It feels like failure’s twin brother these days. “Well, at least I tried,” we snarl to our friends when we try and fail.
You can feel your self-esteem in your throat as you fight back feelings of inadequacy and regret. Each time you have to justify your trying is like one more kick while you’re down.
So we do what everyone else does. We stop trying.
We go back to what always worked. But ironically, that’s not working.
I think we’re missing something. We’re listening to the wrong voices. Marching to the wrong drum beat.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of justifying my trying to those who seem to be doing little more than existing.
It’s time to take back our lives and start trying again.
Why we stop trying
We don’t stop trying because we fail. We don’t stop trying because it’s hard. These are realities, but they aren’t true barriers. I think everyone believes success follows hard work. No, we stop trying for another reason.
We stop trying because someone said we can’t do it.
In one way or another, someone told you you would never make it. You’ll never be a writer. You’ll never be a pastor. You’ll never be a real man. You’ll never be good enough.
Maybe it’s a dead-beat father, a controlling boss, or a “friend” that’s been told one too many times they can’t do it.
Or maybe it’s you. Maybe you’re the one telling yourself you’re not good enough.
Regardless who it is, their words have power. They have power because they’re an indictment against something very dear to each of us: our character.
Failure is one of the most steering emotions we have. By that, I mean it can steer our lives in all sorts of directions. But only if we let it.
No matter how bad the wheel is spinning out of control, all we have to do is reach over and grab ahold.
But why should you?
We need you to
It’s hard to even want to try sometimes. I often feel like these words from Jason Walker:
“I shot for the sky
I’m stuck on the ground
So why do I try, I know I’m gonna fall down”
We can feel the crash before we ever take off.
But if others never took off, we wouldn’t have flight, the printed word, or the iPhone. We wouldn’t have countless churches or ministries working to bring justice to the afflicted.
I like to think humanity is not done. Like John Mayer said,
“I like to think the best of me
Is still hiding
Up my sleeve.”
And that includes you. So why should you keep trying?
Because the world needs you to. That’s right: this world needs you.
So many of us don’t try because we don’t feel we’re needed. That’s partially true. But here’s the whole truth:
The world needs you if you are willing to try. The world does not need you if you aren’t willing to try. If that’s your deal, the world will get on just fine without you.
Just keep trying
What is it you gave up on? What is it you have a heart for?
Fill in the blank: I wish I had never stopped ___________. Whatever it is, give it another shot.
Maybe you’ll write the next great novel, start the next big company, or serve the needy who are calling out for justice.
Whatever you do, just keep trying.
What do you feel like trying again, or maybe for the first time? What fills you with passion?
Share in the comments.