It (Whatever It Is) Takes a Willingness to Fail



This week, a friend admired my DIY chicken coop and said, “Wow, you really ARE Supermom, aren’t you?” She meant it kindly and this post really isn’t about that.

But that situation got me thinking:

  • I’m not Supermom. I’m a semi-normal (is anyone really normal?) person with 24 hrs in a day.
  • I get grumpy and tired, and my feet get sore.
  • Sometimes my kids behave, and sometimes they fuss and stomp their feet.
  • Like everyone else in the world, sometimes I think, “I can’t do this.”
  • I’m no math whiz.
  • I’ve not ever designed or built anything.
  • I didn’t take woodshop, never spent time around woodworking, and had never used a table saw or a miter saw before doing this project. I just thought it up and made it, learning how to use the tools and problem-solving as I went.

But at the foundation level, what it took was this:

I HAD TO BE WILLING TO FAIL SPECTACULARLY. I put myself “out there” and said I was going to do it. And so, I found a way to make it happen and see it through to completion.

The coop’s not perfect. There are mistakes and creaky doors and the egg box door is too heavy because I used a thick plywood rather than a thin one (which is a mixed blessing- I don’t have to lock it, but it’s heavy to get open). I used a ping-pong table for the base (which I would never do again because it’s made of fiberboard which swells with water).

There are things I would do differently if I ever had to build one again.

But it got done.

Same with my first novel, writing an e-book (about which, nervously, I’m starting to get feedback), having & homeschooling a brood of kids, learning another language, or teaching a Bible study.

And it’s the same with the things *you* have in you to do.


It’s not always easy to try something new, to put your hand and mind to doing something that is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. It’s not easy to risk hearing negative feedback; it’s not easy to put your heart (your work, your effort, your passions) in front of others with the full potential of hearing criticism. But accomplishing things in life, relationally, spiritually, educationally, requires taking the risk. Until then, it’s just passing time, avoiding the adventures & dreams.

Has something been tugging on your mind? Do you feel an urge to try something new?

  • Painting?
  • Writing?
  • Photography?
  • Homeschooling?
  • Running a 5k?
  • Learning to change your own oil?

Being successful at it– whatever “it” is for you– takes a willingness to fail.


Image courtesy of DavidCastilloDominici/

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast ( I write and wrangle kids.

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3 Responses

  1. Jennifer Collins says:

    Hi Jess,
    Thanks for the timely post. We have home educated for 16 years now and I recently started a new business venture. Direct sales (talk about putting yourself out there – for people to reject and/or avoid you!) Seeking the Lord and reminding myself of my security in Him is important. I have felt like a failure at times. My 13 yo son reassured me that I’m not :) That’s a blessing in itself. God didn’t give us a timid spirit, but one of power, love and self discipline. I know that Paul is referring to the Gospel there, but I believe that God wants us to have “can-do” attitudes in all of life as we rely on Him. Blessings ~Jennifer

  2. Jess Connell says:

    Interesting, Jennifer. Yes, there is a tenacity and intentionality that has to be there when we’re trying something new. It’s not easy but if we don’t risk and TRY, it is certain that there *can’t* be any success in it.

  3. Joan says:

    Hi Jess,

    I’m not sure exactly where to write these, but I REALLY LIKE YOUR BLOG! :)
    I’m a soon-to-be/first-time mom and your blog has been very inspiring to read every chance I get.
    Been a reader for almost a week now, also starting one myself :)

    Continue to inspire others, may God bless you and your family even more!


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