Danielle Macaulay TITLE-min

Lessons I Learned on Failing Forward

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.

My latest book pre-order launch Kickstarter campaign was a complete and utter failure. Well, at least I looked at it that way. Yes, we met our fund raising goal, but it was by the grace of God, the generosity of family and the skin of skin of our teeth that we made it. We did everything but stand on our heads and breakdance to make it happen.

We had high hopes for the release of this book.

You see, the idea did not originate with me. It was the Lord’s from the start. You know those very few and far between moments (at least, for me) when you just know that you know that God spoke to you clear as a bell. Like, who you should marry, or that job you should take or that crazy move you should make, despite everything adding up. Well, in an instant, I knew God was telling me to write a book – I just knew.  And, since it was His idea, and because He equipped me to complete the task, opened doors and surrounded me with the right people to help make it happen, I suppose I had assumed that the moment we pre-released it, women would be lining up in virtual droves to click it into their online carts.

I was wrong.

Now, I didn’t think that I’d just sit back and watch it all happen effortlessly, but I was not near ready for the struggle.

And girls, despite the fact that God is in this all (I’ve never doubted it), it has been a struggle – the fight of a lifetime, actually. I’ve battled with blank pages, contended with my computer and struggled to figure out the secrets of social media marketing. I combatted a ticking clock and warred with negative thoughts. I brawled big time with dollars to make things happen. I strived and toiled like never before – and I’m still fighting.

But, sometimes I just want to throw in the towel and cozy up on the couch – especially when it feels like I’m failing.

At times, it has seemed better to give up – to bow to the hard stuff and decide that the world doesn’t really need my voice. I mean, aren’t Lysa Terkeurst and Ann Voscamp enough? On occasion, I decided that I needed rest and peace more than women needed another book to read. If failing meant I could go back to an organized home and some HGTV, sign me up.

But, failing doesn’t let us off the hook – it frees us up to try again.

Failing gives you wings to fly higher, believe me or not.

Failing acts as the grit that gives our feet forward motion. Failing is freedom – a fresh start.

Failing doesn’t have to be futile. It can be painful, but it doesn’t have to be punishing. Failing actually is surprisingly fruitful, if you try again.

So, will you fail forever, or will you fail  forward?

Rather than letting a botched attempt bog you down, won’t you let it build you up? After all, the mountain of your success is built upon your failures.

In fact, that defeat may actually be setting the table for triumph like you’ve never known. 

Five time Olympic medalist, Nastia Liukin is also the 2008 Olympic all around champion, 2005 and 2007 world champion on balance beam and 2005 world champion on the uneven bars.

Yet, in her 2012 qualifying routine, Nastia fell flat on her face – literally. Flat. On her gorgeous face – head down to the ground – and on her best event Most would consider this a cosmic failure, but for Nastia, it was the defining moment of her career.

Falling flat on her face was the very first time Nastia received a standing ovation. But, it wasn’t the falling that fueled the applause – it was because she got back up and she finished.

It was during the routine she dreaded the most that she realized people didn’t just love, accept and support because she succeeded.  It was then that it was proved to her she didn’t have to be perfect to be proud. It was laying on her face where she understood that failure can propel you towards freedom and into your destiny.

Nastia’s moment of failure connected her with her fans more than she’d ever experienced. She became relatable, rather than untouchable. This morphed her from just a gymnast to an inspiration for many.

Nastia didn’t let her failure define her negatively – she used it as a defining moment to fail forward, launching her into a brighter spotlight with a greater message:

My parents always told me to finish what I started. So, I got back up, and I finished my routine.

Since then, she has been sharing her story of getting back up – and helping others do the same.

I am pretty certain that the world would have fully understood if Nastia didn’t continue her routine. Yet, it was in the getting back up that she gained more than understanding fans – she gained a voice.

And that, ladies, is why I got back up. That is why I’ll get back up again.

I want my voice to count. More than that, I want God’s voice to be heard. And, no one can hear it if I stay down, flat on my face.

What about you? Will you get back up. Will you let failure propel you towards greater things – the kinds of things that success on it’s own cannot afford you?

If so, you join the company of the greatest inventors, influencers and life changers that this spinning planet has ever seen.


I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan


If you have yet to order a copy of Danielle’s new book, Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?!, you can do so here! www.getalonggirl.com

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