Answers In Love

Winning at Life God's Way

Feeling Dumb? Read This to Feel Better!

A few weeks ago I attended a lunch reunion with a group of friends. The event began joyfully.

However, the mood grew somber when one friend revealed that an important part of her life had fallen apart. She said through tears, “I feel like such a failure”

I hated her pain. I also begrudged any culture that encourages us to apply toxic labels like “failure” and “stupid” to people. Such labels distort truth and harm mental health.

Do you ever think of yourself as “a failure” or “stupid?” It happens to me when I’m not careful.

Failures and mistakes come with life. We cope best when we know and remember the truth about failure.

Failure Facts:

Every One Fails

When someone mentions ice cream around our house, chances are my husband will sing the old commercial jingle: I scream; you scream; we all scream for ice cream!

I propose a parallel jingle about failure, something like:  I fail, you fail; we all fail – a lot!

To err is human. Failure comes to everyone. Next time you want to say, “I’m so stupid,” try changing your words to “I’m so human.”

Don’t believe people who pretend to have it all together. They don’t. We all struggle. We all fail.

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… (Romans 3:23)


Failure Involves What You Do, Not Who You Are

My friend’s endeavor failed. That did not make her a failure. She’s a lovely, beloved, talented, honest, caring person who fears God, gives generously, works diligently and encourages others. She’s a successful human being!

We protect the hearts of children by saying “That was a bad choice” instead of “You’re a bad child.” Can we do the same for ourselves and other adults? Our mistakes should not define our identity. We all have inherent worth and most of us are redeemable – even at our worst!

 You have been bought and paid for by Christ so you belong to him—
be free now from all these earthly prides and fears. (1 Corinthians 7:23)


Failure Educates

Failure equips us for success. It provides valuable experience and teaches what doesn’t work. Setbacks push us to try new things in new ways. John Maxwell explains this process in his book, Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success.

  Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the
things that are ahead. (Phil. 3:13)


Failure Builds Character

Failure fosters humility. The embarrassment we suffer in failure frees us from any need to appear perfect. Failure makes us authentic, vulnerable and approachable. 

   … that He might humble you …
   to do good for you in the end. (Deuteronomy 8:16)


Failure Breeds Resilience

Failures impose pain. We hurt when mistakes cost us our marriage, job, public face or nest egg. We wonder if we can survive. Failing forces us to dig deep and choose whether to give up or push forward and whether to sink or swim.

Pushing forward starts with baby steps, just putting one foot in front of the other.  After we take a few baby steps we soon notice we have not only survived but progressed. We discover hidden strength.

Pushing through failure makes us more resilient. Gained resilience enables us to respond to the next failure with increased confidence and resolve.

“…endurance produces character, and character produces hope,”
(Romans 5:4)



Failure happens to everyone. It does not reflect badly on personal worth. It can propel us to success.

Growth comes from failure when we block negative self talk and keep a positive mindset. Do you need to incorporate any of these facts about failure into your mindset? If so, which ones? Let me know.

Next week I’ll post some tips for surviving failure. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, please share this post with someone you know who may need to hear this message.










About Cheryl Savageau

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

7 Replies

  1. Kristin F

    Another great article. I need to remember all of the failure facts. And maybe read this book!

    1. Cheryl Savageau

      Truly! We need to practice the facts.

  2. Cheryl Wissmann

    I chose to share this via FaceBook because so many are hurt by the perfection presented there, when many would never post their failures, only their happy times. Social media limits our communication to superficial levels, where most hurts and failures cannot be seen. It would take a truly brave person to post a failure, with the resulting impact in their families and career, so most of us play it safe.

    1. Cheryl Savageau

      Thoughtful, valuable comment Cheryl

  3. Tricia McClure

    As someone who has fallen hard and lost everything, I struggle with letting go of my past mistakes. As the years have gone by God has reminded me daily that I am not just a survivor, but I am an overcomer! My experiences have made me much more compassionate and forgiving than I was BEFORE I screwed up!

    My take away: God will ALWAYS restore what the enemy has tried to destroy as long as we allow Him!

    1. Cheryl Savageau

      Love your victory and your wisdom. Under the character “fact” we should indeed include compassion and grace. Thanks Tricia.

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