By Ashley Roe, Contributing Writer
I want to be honest about something. I have pushed back some strong feelings of failure recently. I have done fairly well with not letting it get to me. That was until I skipped planning my menu again and had to come up with a last-minute dinner that my husband and I ended up to eating late…you guessed it…again.
When I feel Like a Failure
I felt like an awful wife and homemaker for not having dinner started when my husband got home. Then I notice other things. There was a pile of laundry that needed to be done and my table was cluttered with things that needed to be put away. Of course then I was reminded of all the food I had to throw out last week because it had spoiled.
I also can’t seem to figure out why I have been so tired and unable to focus lately. Oh and I can’t remember the last time I clipped and organized my coupons. I could probably go on and on thinking of ways I was failing. I felt like having my own little pity party and just giving up all together.
On top of that I have these voices in my head telling me that I have no excuse to not be Mrs super homemaker since I am home most of the time and don’t have any children to tend to. That voice keeps telling me I’m not good enough. There are plenty of women who have way more on their plate than I do, so why can’t I just get it together!?
You see, when a mom struggles it is easy to give her grace because she is taking on the very important role of mother and that is no easy task. But since I am not a mother I have a hard time accepting the fact that it is okay for me to have struggles and be overwhelmed too.
I know I am not the only one who ever feels this way so I came up with a list of four things you can do when you feel like a failure.
4 Ways to Help you Set Aside Feelings of Failure
1) Stop comparing yourself to someone else.
When you constantly see other people’s supposedly perfect lives it’s easy to think that you must be doing something wrong. But guess what?! They aren’t perfect either. God made you with a specific gift and purpose in mind. So just because your life isn’t the same that does not mean something is wrong with you.
2) Have a plan.
A lack of a plan has caused a lot of my feelings of failure. If I had taken the time to plan my meals, I would have avoided the unnecessary stress of trying to think of what to have for dinner. I also could have avoided throwing out spoiled food had I specifically planned to use it.
My problem is that I have a tendency toward procrastination. A fact that is no surprise to anyone who knows me. This is something that I am constantly working on but I don’t always do too well with. I have a few systems to help me and I am trying to learn better discipline to actually stick with it.
However, I know that being too strict with your plan can also become a stress for many people. It is easy to let your never-ending to-do list make you feel even more like a failure if you don’t get it all done. This is not the purpose of having a plan. The purpose is to give you some direction. It is okay to do what you can and let go of what you can’t.
3) Speaking of stress, it is also important to find ways to reduce the stress in your life.
Feelings of failure can definitely make you feel more stressed so here are some things that I have found help me when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
- Take a deep breath then pray about whatever is causing the stress. Satan wants you to give up. Don’t give in, give it to God.
- Do something that relaxes you and takes your mind off of whatever is causing you stress. Some things I like to do are; read a book, crochet, take a walk or do some sort of exercise. I have found less rigorous exercises like yoga or pilates are great to not only help with mental stress but physical stress on the body as well.
- Drink some herbal tea. I have made it a habit to drink herbal tea at night before bedtime to help me relax. My favorite are those with calming herbs like chamomile and lavender.
- Make sure you are spending time away from the television, computer or other technological devices. When you are constantly in front of a screen it is easy to become overloaded with information. These things are useful, but they can also create a lot of brain clutter and in turn lead to stress and lack of focus. Time away from technology allows you to refresh and recharge. I have found that for me it works best to limit my screen time on the weekends and at night when my husband is home so that we can spend quality time together.
Note from Jami: Memorizing Scripture and taking the time to pray about what I’m thankful for in life has really helped me deal with stress and anxiety! Spending time in God’s Word is the best thing we can do for most problems.
4) Have grace on yourself and others.
There will always be things you can work on improving but know that you are not perfect and never will be. No one on this earth is perfect. Remember that every once in a while you need a break and that is okay. At the end of the day you might still have a messy kitchen and a pile of laundry to do. Let it go and start fresh the next day.
Where to Find Hope In the Midst of Failure
Even if you have failed in some way, recognize it for what it is and move on. If necessary, seek to right any wrongs and do what you can to prevent it in the future. But remember that even if you mess up again, God is gracious. He has the power to cover any failure no matter how great or small.
Hope is not found in the absence of failure, it is found in Christ alone. As the lyrics to this powerful song profess:
I want to close with this verse and a short video to go along with it as as a prayer for you as you step out into whatever God has for you to do. Remember that God is the God of hope and it is in him you will find it.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13 NIV
What is something that has helped you in times you feel like a failure?
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