It was 1831 and he failed in his first business venture. In 1832, the same year he first ran for state legislature and lost, he also lost his job and was denied admittance to law school. The very next year he borrowed money from a friend to start a business and within a year went bankrupt. In 1834 he ran again for state legislature and won. During the next nine years his fiance passed away, had a nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months as a result, lost in the speaker of the sate legislature race, lost in the race to become elector, and lost in a race for Congress. In 1846 he ran again for congress and finally won. Two years later he ran for re-election and lost. Failed to get the job of land officer in his home state in 1849. Lost in the race for senate in 1854 and then lost in the race for the Vice-Presidential nomination in 1856. Again in 1858 he ran for US Senate and lost. Two years later, in 1860, he was elected President of the United States. Let me introduce to you a man of courage, Abraham Lincoln.
Why is Abraham Lincoln a man of courage? The only thing I can think of is his willingness to be vulnerable and put himself on the line again and again and again. Ive heard it a few times, but now I’m only now beginning to comprehend it, the difference between where you are and where you want to be is one word, courage. Its having the willingness to get up after complete humiliation. Its the willingness to try and fail. Many times courage is viewed as stupidity, insanity, and irresponsible until it works out and we call it brilliance.
Every person we look up to and admire, we don’t admire them for their accomplishments or success. We think we admire them for that. But what we admire them for is their courage because courage is the foundation to their success. I am currently battling with this because when I look at people with real, connected, intimate relationships (something I want in my life and am working to make happen) one word comes to mind, courage. People with real, intimate, connected relationships have courage. They have the courage to put themselves on the line again and again. To be vulnerable and allow people to see them for who they truly are. This is not something I want to do, because its risky. If I open myself up then I risk not being enough for people which is the worst feeling in the world.
However what I am learning is that if I want to be successful in relationships I have to be willing to put myself on the line. Ive got to risk it all and when its “not enough” I’ve got to keep going, as its “better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.” This is the same for anything you are trying to accomplish in your life. You’ve got to risk it all. You’ve got to have the courage to fail, to be vulnerable, and to lose. Sounds horrible right? I feel it. I am right there with you. Half the time I am scared s***-less. I fight this everyday. This is why I struggle with Courage. However, what I want you to know is you are worthy and you are enough even with your weakness, failures, and struggles. Your destiny doesn’t ask for perfection it asks for courage in the face of your imperfection.