Give Up Because You Have Already Lost — What We Can Learn About Failure From The Walking Dead
If you're contributing to something meaningful, you’ll soon face these words (if you haven't already). It could come from someone else but likely will be a voice inside your head. The tormenting fear as you strive to lead others, do something great or make a challenging relationship work. Along the way, we mess up and fail. Sometimes these failures have significant consequences and people get hurt (emotionally & physically).
The phrase in the title of this article comes at the end of an episode of the Walking Dead (S8:E10 - The Lost and the Plunderers, spoilers ahead). The main villain (Negan) says it to the hero (Rick) of the show after learning that Rick’s son just died. When I heard the exchange it brought back memories of my past experiences. From times when I sought to do the right thing only to receive a barrage of doubt soon after.
When fear is talking to us, what does it say? What does it sound like? The video clip (or transcript) below is a helpful reminder of what that fear sounds like when it's crashing in on us.
Negan: What are you doing Rick? Why are you fighting? Why are you making this so hard? Karl is dead because of you, because you couldn't leave well enough alone. I mean hell, maybe he would have died some other way. Any one of us can get our ticket punched at any second, but in this case, in this case he is dead because of you, because you weren't there to stop him from doing something stupid. You set this course, Rick. Who's next?
Rick: You are!
Negan: No, someone is. You see, I stop people from dying. I am the answer. Now it may have taken a hard lesson for you to hear it, but you should hear it now. It's time. Do not let any more of your decisions cost you to lose anyone else you love. -- That garbage that sticks with you, forever. Just like Carl will. Hell, I'm feeling it and I'm gonna be feeling it for a while. You could have just let me save all of you. That's why I killed your friends in the first place. -- So, you can sit there and you can say that you're gonna kill me, but you won't. You failed. You failed as a leader and most of all Rick you failed as a father. Just, give up. Give up because you have already lost.
Have you faced this reality yet?
In your business? Your marriage? As a parent? A child? Somewhere else?
Lost, have you felt like giving up?
A few years after moving to Atlanta Georgia life got really hard. We moved across the country as newlyweds on our own just trying to survive (Quite the opposite of my flourishing upbringing). Life, work, relationships and faith spiraled into chaos and where I saw it all going was not good. It wasn’t where I wanted to end up.
As I looked down the road of my fate, I made a decision. Running life my way was not working, and I needed help.
When you get to point where you’re hearing this message from Negan (fear), you’ll have a choice. You can succumb to this fear and give in. Or, you can face your fears head-on. And the truth is, this step may be the first of many that lead to carrying an even heavier and harder burden.
When we’re backed in the corner we can choose to give in to our fear and submit to its torment and direction or we can choose to give up our way (the one that’s not working) and ask for help.
Pray for divine guidance (God, my way is not working, show me yours!) and learn from the people around us, even when we don’t want to or they don’t communicate it in the best way possible.
Pride & Fear
When pride rises and fear rules, will you let go of them both? Will you persevere when failure is before you? Will you do what is right when life is pressing down on you?
For me, it was impossible on my own. I needed God’s help, direction, and the support of the community he surrounded me with.
And over time with His healing, I looked in the mirror, faced my fears, swallowed my pride, and took responsibility. They were none of the things I wanted to do, but all the actions essential to moving my faith, life, family, and community forward.
And it’s the step I believe you too can make. It’s the one you must take when you hear the words, “Give Up. You’ve Already Lost.”
Now Get Up & Move Forward.
Hero Photo by Gratisography.