I wasn’t much of a UFC fan until I befriended fighter Mark Munoz. Even though he’s retired now, I still follow the sport and watch whenever I can. On December 30, a huge match occurred between Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes. After just 48 seconds, Nunes won via TKO, crushing Rousey’s big comeback attempt.
I’m guessing you’ve felt like a failure at some point. I certainly have on many occasions. Like Rousey, my great comeback didn’t end how I’d hoped. Instead of feeling on top of the world, I felt like a complete washout.
Here are a few lessons that came to mind as I watched Rousey climb back into the ring, only to face quick defeat:
- Losing doesn’t make you a failure.
- Failing can be a learning tool.
- Winning all the time isn’t always beneficial. Winning doesn’t prepare you for adversity or build resilience and character.
- Only through failures do you learn true persistence.
No one likes losing, but if you can view every setback as a setup, losing becomes a tool to help you win more in the long run.
Some of the students you pour into will choose not to follow your advice. You’ll feel like a failure and may even contemplate giving up. At times you’ve probably experienced “losing” encounters with parents, peers, staff members, and supervisors. How you view each failure is key—and will help you mentor young people through similar situations.
- Failure can be an opportunity to choose humility. You can’t change students’ hearts, but you can share the God who can.
- It can be an opportunity to grow in your own knowledge of what you’re trying to teach.
- It can be an opportunity to grow in trusting Jesus and his plan.
- It can be an opportunity to build new relational skills.
- It can be an opportunity to practice extending the same grace you’ve received from Jesus.
You can change students’ perception of failure, but first you must change your own. Join me in resolving to turn setbacks into successes by asking, “What’s the setup?”