Creating a Culture of Try

I was surprised when Ethan said he wanted to zip line during a recent trip to Florida. There he stood at lease 3 stories high, waiting for his turn to zip, glide, and soar across the sky.  I gave it 50-50 odds whether or not he would actually do it.

Anyone watching could see the inner struggle radiating from his sweet little face. His eyes showing the inner conflict.  He wanted to do it but something within him told him not to.

Several minutes went by, we all cheered for him below.  This probably only made the inner conflict greater.

He took off the harness, shoulders slumped he climbed down the flights of stairs.

It would be easy to see this event as a failure.  After all he didn’t accomplish what he has intended and wanted to do.

Disappointment washed over him.

I understand that frustration and disappointment.  Many things in my life I have wanted to do but haven’t completed or even attempted.

Its easy to see these times as failures.

Ethan did.

I have.

You likely have as well.

In that muggy moment on the Florida boardwalk, a thought came to me (thank you Jesus).  What if he hadn’t failed?  What if he had simply spoken up for what didn’t feel safe for him.

So, that’s what I told him. “I’m proud of you for using your voice and not doing something that didn’t feel safe or right for you.”

With a fresh glimmer in his eyes, the disappointment melted away.  He quickly responded, “I used conviction.”

In church, he had been learning about conviction.  How to stand up for something that isn’t right.

His shame and disappointment quickly evolved into pride and empowerment.

What are you facing right now that seems like a failure? How can you redefine your experience and see things with a fresh perspective.  Often our failures simply need to be redefined.

Too often we are our toughest critic.  Instead of words of encouragement, an accusatory voice says “who do you even think you are trying that? “are you crazy, you’ll never be able to…” “You’ll never be good enough to…”

These voices are lies. Lies that steal, kill, and destroy your peace, joy, and love.

You have an opportunity to give yourself grace, speaking truth and kindness. When you speak truth to yourself, lies are vanquished.

What is something you’ve been too afraid to try? What’s one thing you could do today to get started?

Blessings to you on your journey,


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