How You Can Pick Up the Pieces and Start Over

Sometimes things don’t go quite as we planned.  Or they completely flop.  And we have to pick up the pieces.  And figure out how to start over.

Pick up the Pieces

It’s never easy to deal with disappointment—or even outright failure.  It’s tempting to brood about it.  Or to ignore it.  Or to deny it ever happened.

I have lost count of the number of times that I have had to process what went wrong.  And I know it’s no fun to have to admit that things didn’t work out.

But disappointment and failure can be great teachers.  If you are willing to be taught by them.  Here are three steps you can take to determine how to start over.


1. Deal with what happened.


Pick up the pieces.  Be willing to do a full diagnostic of what happened.  Whether it’s a recent project.  A soured relationship.  Or an entire year of your life.

Examine the situation.  Recall what happened.  As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Be willing to be teachable.  Trust that God can use what happened for your good and His glory (Romans 8:28).  And see what you can draw from the situation.


2. Learn from what happened.


Identify what went wrong.  Be brutally honest with yourself.  Take responsibility for what you did or did not do.  But don’t beat yourself up about it.

Failure can be a great teacher, so let it teach you.  As Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

We get good judgment from experience.  And we get experience from bad judgment.  Use this exercise as an opportunity to gain good judgment.  And apply the experience you’ve gained.


3. Make something else happen.


Figure out how to start over.  Use what you’ve learned from your analysis and put it good use.  And try again.

Don’t let a setback keep you down.  Remember Winston Churchill’s famous words: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal.  It is the courage to continue that counts.”

Do not let self-doubt prevent you from accomplishing what God wants you to do.  God can do more than you could ever ask or imagine through His Spirit working in you (Ephesians 3:20).

Don’t be afraid to pick up the pieces, identify what went wrong, and figure out how to start over.  Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:7).  And fail your way to success!


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