Have you ever experienced setbacks, encountered challenges, or failed miserably? Struggled, made a poor choice, or taken a wrong turn? Said words you regret, missed an opportunity, wasted time?
Do I even need to ask?
If you want to lead yourself and others you need to keep life’s troubles in perspective.
Tonight I got a phone call from a friend I’ve known for a long time.
She shared a struggle, one I could identify with immediately. It’s a familiar story to me, one I’ve lived — recently, even.
While she talked, I listened, and let it sink in, a realization: this is the moment when that bad thing turns good.
Why? Because without that experience, I may not be able to listen without judging (something my friend needed.) I certainly wouldn’t empathize so closely.
When we share the wisdom we’ve gained through hardships, mistakes, or shortcomings with others, we redeem what’s ugly, make wrong things right. We infuse the dark things in our lives with a deeper purpose and meaning.
All those bad things — even the worst things — complete the picture of who we are. If we try to hide or ignore our imperfections and past mistakes, we may miss out on the opportunity to allow those things to be used for good in someone else’s life.
So listen for it, look for it. When it happens, let it sink in, the realization: this is the moment when that bad thing turns good.
This post originally appeared at Mountain State University LeaderTalk with the title “This is the Moment.” It is reposted here with permission. In the months since wrote it, I have had many more opportunities to allow my struggles, mistakes, and hard-won lessons be an encouragement to others. These are the moments when those bad things turn to good.
I choose to post this now because of two phone conversations I had yesterday.
Two very dear friends of mine are struggling.
I love them. I hurt for them.
Though their struggles are different, I know that what these two women are experiencing can be redeemed. Both women are strong. Both are surrounded by loving friends and support. And.. I know that even these dark times will be transformed into something beautiful in each of their lives.
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Another awesome post. I have learned this myself a lot lately. I was able to help a friend without bias due to having gone through similar circumstances. You make a great point here about turning our mistakes and failures into positive things. Thanks for your time and great content.
I have found this to be true in my life too! Sometimes knowing that what I have messed up or the pain I am suffering can be useful to someone else (or yes myself) in the future is what gives me the courage to take the next step.
Mistakes do help us become better grace-givers. I am very thankful for that. The part that I find difficult is believing that I am still loved whether or not my successes out-weigh my failures. It’s hard to get rid of that invisible check list that says “pass” or “fail”. It’s my prayer to be a person who affirms the value of others based on nothing more than the fact that they have been created by God with a unique design and purpose. His opinion is the only one that really matters,and He’s the best grace-giver of all!
Lisa – you are loved!
I love this post. I have experienced this so many times in my life. I have learned through those tough times that they can be some of the sweetest moments down the road. I have had people ask me if I would do anything over in my life (you know, those difficult things) and I have learned to say NO and I really mean it. I wouldn’t change anything. Each of those difficult times along with the wonderful times have molded me into the woman, wife, Mom, Mamaw, sister, daugher, friend, and LEADER that I am today. Without those tough times I would not have grown and experienced wonderful blessings.
Deb, I am encouraged to hear that you wouldn’t change the hard times. Although I like to see difficult things in my life used for good, I don’t know that I am quite in the place in my journey where I would say that I don’t wish some things could have been different. I would like to be there, but I’m not there yet. Thanks for journeying with me and sharing your wisdom here.
This is my favorite of the LT posts, hands down. I’m glad to re-read it here.
As one door closes, another one opens! Great post Becky, and I am glad you too get to have embraced your moments. It is one of life’s lesson which I am glad I have in the bag now.