We all have failures. You may think others do not fail, but they do. They may just hide their failures from the view of others. I understand why people hide their failures and showcase their successes. It can be embarrassing to fail, or you may feel bad about yourself, and don’t want negative comments from others. However these negatives are from cultural norms we need to change.
I believe we should embrace our failures and realize they’re a part of the education we came here to acquire in mortality. We need to develop within our world a culture of embracing failure. Failure isn’t the end. Failure is the pathway to success. Success is going from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm. The man who says he hasn’t failed, is the man who hasn’t tried hard enough to reach his dreams. So instead of fortifying the cultural norm of “hiding our failures”, let’s be more transparent and start “sharing our failures”. This will create greater humility and empathy within each of us, and in the long run will lead more of us to our dreams.
In my own life, failure and trials have been a constant companion. One of these trials began when I was about 12 years of age. I faced the challenge of having a bad stutter. It was so bad I feared reading a single scripture in church, and blessing the sacrament in front of the ward always felt like a nightmare. While on my mission, this trial went into overdrive. Knocking on doors was beyond difficult. I would knock on a door and would stutter so bad that I wouldn’t get a word out before they would slam the door in my face. And I would have to live that experience day after day, month after month, over and over and over again!
But God knew who I was and knew what I could become. So did He shelter me from this challenge, certainly not! Instead He comforted me as I weathered the storm. He also gave me many opportunities on my mission to overcome this trial. In addition to knocking doors, He had me talk to people on the street, and teach people in their homes. He even had me give 50 talks on my mission.
Then as a result, I learned to love teaching. I learned to love speaking to others no matter if they were friends or complete strangers. I learned to love giving talks and speaking in public where ever I could. And because of this growing love I have since taught seminary in the Salt Lake Valley. I’ve been a Sunday School Teacher many times over. I’ve served as a Ward Sunday School President 3 times, and as Stake Sunday School President as well. God took me, a mere boy who feared talking to anyone, and transformed me into a man who could speak to anyone and be not moved.
I have no unique skills, I just kept trying. I just kept moving forward amidst my trials. Each of you can do what I did. You have the strength within you. I promise. Just be patient as God helps you unlock it from within. You are so much stronger than you realize!
So my challenge to you is this: Starting today, embrace your fears and embrace your trials. For they are the key to unlocking your greatest strengths. “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” (Mother Teresa). You’ve got this, good luck!