What if we are more likely to win than to lose?

Posted on May 2, 2016

I was with some fellow moms this morning, Coke in hand, talking about how crazy fatigued I feel. (I realize I should be drinking something like kombucha, but I had one bad experience with the gelatinous blob, and it’s been hard to pick one up since then.)

We talked about how badly we want our kids to succeed in life at things that really matter, but we’re often afraid that they might not. We talked about pressures to put them in certain activities that might give them a leg up or even get them a scholarship to college one day. We talked about how we have days that we feel like we’re failing, in every possible way.

Our kids were splashing in a pool nearby, completely oblivious to all the intense demands of their tiny little lives. And then it occurred to me.

What if we are very likely to succeed in life despite unavoidable mistakes?

Here’s what I mean. I am currently treating my life as if I’m on a perpetual balance beam, and one step in the wrong direction will result in complete failure. Disqualification. A 2 from the Russian judge. My kids fail homeschool, and we all end up living under a tree.

What if I am actually living on the equivalent of a wide open plain, a place that is full of different options that will work, sidesteps that will lead to the right outcomes, and possibilities that are likely to result in success? What if I am more likely to win in life than to lose?

I’m sorry to say my natural bent is toward the negative. It started as a young child, when I wrote my first song that contained the lyrics, “I’ve been so bad, Lord it makes me sad.” That song was a huge hit in my bedroom. But as an adult my fears have often kept me up at night. What a loss of my precious time and energy. How can I ever expect to thrive under the heavy weight of negative what-ifs? I’ve given myself no room for hope.

I’m not downplaying hard times or suggesting that positive thinking will make everything in life happy and shiny. We have some monumental challenges in our home. However, my kids are walking around breathing and stuff. They survived crib bumpers and un-cut grapes. My husband and I have overcome many obstacles and still like each other. Yet I stay busy lamenting the challenge, the growth edges, and the future. I am focused on the 2 percent and not all of the things that are going right.

What if I woke up each morning and focused on ALL of the good? 

I am reimagining that conversation by the pool. “Yah, I am just rocking this mom thing. My kids are going to really be wonderful human beings.” It’s kind of sad how weird that would sound.

Instead of having to try my very hardest to not fail as a mom or teacher or wife, I plan on seeing myself as very likely to succeed. I’m turning my negative what-if’s into positive ones. What if everything works out? What a difference that could make in my soul, in my sleep, in my approach to the inevitable ups and downs of life.

If you also battle fear or negativity in your mind, I would love to hear what has worked for you to overcome it.

  • Reply Melone January 11, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    Wow. Greg and I were talking about this very thing, just now, as we drove home from Lifegroup. The subject: THE POWER OF NEGATIVITY. Self-assessment is necessary. Not, do I live in La La Land but do I believe in the Lord, that lives in me? Do I really believe that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world? Do I believe that if God is for me, who can be against me? Do I really believe that all things do work for good for those that love the Lord…? Last time I looked, all these verses are about God, not me. I just have to walk in agreement with them. As in believe. As in trust. That’s what keeps a person positive. Believing that the Creator of the universe, really will lead me, guide me, in everything that He puts in front of me. Will I fail? Um yes. Is it as big a deal to Him as it is me? Depends on the matter, but mostly no. That’s how we grow. That’s how our kids grow. It’s called life.

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