A Leadership Story: Bethany
“The fear of failure is one of the biggest obstacles to success.”
I have always been annoyed at the thought that mistakes and failures are part of the journey in life and especially on the road to success. You know that personality type that is a bit of a perfectionist? Yeah, that’s me. I really don’t like doing things unless I’m going to get it right. The more experience I have in leadership, the more I recognize how unrealistic that is. I’m not going to get it right 100% of the time. Actually, I am probably going to get it wrong more than I’ll get it right. BUT what I realize is that it’s through those failures and mistakes where I learn and grow the most. It helps me identify my weaknesses and value my strengths. I learn what not to do next time and usually I can find a new way of doing things from the experiences I have.
I’ve recently stepped into a new role at Capital City Church as the Director of Ministries at our DC site. It’s simultaneously awesome and scary. I can look back and see how God has been preparing me for this position, but at the same time, I have been confronted with a huge fear of failure. Questions like, “Do I have what it takes to do this? Will people leave the church because of me? Will I fail at everything I try?” have been plaguing my mind as well. Thankfully, through this I’ve remembered that God doesn’t say that everything will be perfect all the time but He does say that he’ll be with me every step of the way.
Here are a few things that I’ve learned that will help you along your journey as you experience mistakes and failures.
1) Never Stop Learning – As a leader, it’s important that we learn and grow from our experiences. As we have failures or successes, take sometime to learn from them. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes, but grow from it. The bible even has something to say about this:
Romans 5: 3-5 (NLT)
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
2) Don’t Quit – Failure never means it’s over. It’s just a re-direction towards success.
Leaders have the ability to keep going when it gets hard. True failure is when we quit and don’t learn from our experiences.
3) Brag About Your Mistakes – I once read this in Inc Magazine: “…retelling stories of my errors with humor provides value to others for learning how to avoid the same mistake, or it brings entertainment, cause who doesn’t need a little more laughter every day?”
4) Invite Others Into The Process – Other people always have a unique perspective and can help you learn even more.
Bethany Pisani is the DC Director of Ministries at Capital City Church in Washington, DC. She loves all things sports, french fries, traveling, Italy, and reading at coffee shops. You can follow her at any social media outlet @bpisani