You’ve failed. It was huge. Perhaps you did it on purpose. Maybe it was an accident. You may have stumbled into it gradually over time or suddenly.
Bottom line: You did it. It was wrong. There’s no sense denying it now.
What you do next will determine if—and how well—you recover.
Here are five steps to recovery from a failure:
Be honest with yourself and others who need to know. Quit hiding from the truth. Stop making excuses. Your story is your story. Hiding only delays recovery. Own what you did and take responsibility for your actions. It’s a sign of maturity, but few make it to this point. Be one who does. You may have consequences to deal with—don’t try to run from them.
Ask God for forgiveness. If you are a believer, He’s already paid your penalty on the cross, but you need to acknowledge your sin to keep the relationship pure. Ask any injured parties for forgiveness. You’re not responsible for their granting of grace—only for your attempt to live at peace with them. Your hardest step may be to forgive yourself.
Create a new path. Consider the right way to do things next time—so you won’t face the same failure again. Do you need new friends? A new environment? Should you step away from a position for a time? How can you ensure those around you, whose trust you’ve broken can trust you again? Develop a plan of recovery—steps you need to take to move forward again.
Commit to your plan. They may mean new accountability. Commit to the people you love. Commit to yourself. Commit to walking a new path and writing a new story. You can do anything with the discipline and tenacity to see it through. Believe in the power and sufficiency of God’s grace in your life.
We should learn from every failure. You do not have to be defined by this season of your life, but you should mature from it. Move forward—looking back not to feel bad about yourself, but only enough to remind you to never go there again.
You can do it!
Have you ever recovered from a failure? What would you add to my list?