Succeeding at Failure?

I hate failure, but then again, who doesn't? Like most people, I hate it because I don't like feeling disappointed or discouraged. In fact, I hate failure so much, I'd do almost anything to avoid it, including nothing at all. That is to say, sometimes my hatred (or more accurately, fear) of failure, keeps me from doing the things that I should do, simply because I don't want to try, and fail. Ironically, at other times, when I do try, my fear of failure often causes me to do things that I shouldn't do, for much the same reason. As a result, in many ways, I am caught between a rock and a hard space.

Over the years, I've worked hard to over come this fear, and I've received some pretty good advice along the way. Unfortunately, while some of it helped to alleviate my fears at specific junctures in my life, none of it has "stuck" long enough to make a substantial difference. As a result, I was quite excited when I came across this article from the Lifehack website in my news feed. Though it didn't really tell me anything new, I appreciated the author's premise that, "How we handle failure is more important than how we handle success."

I like it, not only because it's similar to the counsel I often give others when I tell them that it's not their failures,  mistakes, or struggles that define them, but how they respond to such things that matters most. I like it, also because it's true, particularly when it's understood through a "Gospel filter." When I recognize that my failures,  mistakes, and struggles do not change the way God feels about me or responds to me, because of what Jesus does for me, then suddenly, I'm free to respond differently.

I.e. Next time I make a mistake, instead of defending myself by listing all the reasons I did what I did, I can simply say, "I'm sorry." Instead of hiding my struggles and wrestling with them alone for fear of being rejected if I acknowledge them, I can openly acknowledge them and ask for help. Instead of avoiding any situation that may not turn out the way I hope, I can take the risk knowing that I am still loved. 

When I read How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow from that perspective, it truly makes a lot of sense.