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Even the greatest athlete doesn’t win every game. Loss is part of the sport and no one is considered a failure for losing a game. The only true failure is not showing up to play.

No one likes to lose. If we are going to play, we naturally want to win. But it’s unrealistic to always win. Sometimes we will lose. And losing is not necessarily a failure of our determination or grit. Sometimes our best is simply not enough. But unfortunately, this fear of failure keeps some of us from showing up. We much rather not play than to play and risk losing.

For instance, rather than the risk of something new and toward work that matters, we stay at the “safe job.” Rather than risking relational disruptions, we play it safe and hold back our true thoughts and desires. And rather than risking sexual disappointment, we stop initiating or merely settle for a shallow sexuality.

The risk of failure is inherent throughout life and relationships. But the only true failure is not showing up.

Showing up does not guarantee an outcome. But when we leave it all on the field, we can walk away without regrets, even in the face of loss.

To be sure, there’s still disappointment and heartache at each loss. We want to win! But for our heart and integrity, it’s a win by simply showing up. The battle is for our heart, not the outcome.

So, like the star athlete, we show up and play because it’s who we are, let come what may.

Don’t let the risk of losing keep you from playing the game. This is the greater failure. Show up, and win or lose, leave it all on the field.

Photo by KeithJJ on Pixabay

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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