Overcoming the Fear of Failure

Failure … it is something we fear, yet we have all experienced. It is part of the human experience to take risks at times and risk implies failure. Whenever we dare to do new things, we risk failure. It is implicit in living and striving for success. In fact, the only way to avoid failure is to never try, and that is no way to live at all.

All of us experience failure and everybody experiences the fear of failure. But if you give into this fear, you will never become what God meant you to be. We sometimes play everything so safe that our lives can become a barren wasteland that could have had so much potential. You can’t please God by playing it safe.

How to Overcome the Fear of Failure

  1. Remember that Everybody Fails

Failure is no big deal; it’s universal. It is a natural part of life.

“We all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2).

We all fail. It is no big thing. In fact, you learn most about life through failure.

  1. Realize that Failure is not Final

Failure is neither fatal nor final. In fact, the fear of failure is often worse than the experience itself.

Proverbs 24:16 says, “A righteous man falls seven times and rises again.” Even the righteous man falls and gets up seven times. He just rises again; it’s okay.

But what if you’re stumbling because you are rejecting God and being foolish? This is disobeying and rejecting God.

The Bible says, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

The message here is simple: If you are erring on the side of unrighteousness, repent right away. Ask the Lord for forgiveness. But if you are erring on the side of righteousness and you make a mistake, pick yourself up and keep right on going. Learn from your failure and move on. Don’t camp around the fires of guilt and failure.

You will reap. Just don’t give up. Most people give up far too soon. When you learn through failure, you become a success through failure. Falling down is part of the pathway to success, and when you stumble and fumble, God will use your time on the ground to build you up.

Sometimes the pathway to God’s greatest desire for your life will be riddled with failure. Don’t drop out; it’s a part of life. Don’t make failure into such a big deal that you sabotage your own future.

  1. Recognize that There are Benefits to Failure

Failure educates us – We have probably made more mistakes than successes. But do you know what? We chalk it up as an education. We try something, and if it doesn’t work, we scrap it and try again. But at least we are erring on the side of righteousness. When God sees that you are doing that, He says, “Go for it. I will work all the mistakes out for good. Keep your heart desirous to serve Me with your life, and I will take all the mistakes and turn them around for blessings.”

Failure makes us less judgmental – When you fail, you become a lot more sympathetic, sensitive and kind to others. Failure will restrain your arrogance. It will cause you to be less judgmental. And, if there is no other reason for failing except that we learn to be a little more merciful to others when they fail, that is a great reason. We can learn a lot from failure.

  1. Redefine Failure

Let’s redefine failure. Failure is not that you didn’t arrive at your goal; failure is not even making the effort.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).

God says, “Do not drop out.” God did not say to come in first. God is not looking for people who want to be famous. He is looking for people who would be faithful.

The foolproof way to overcome and override failure is to make love the motivation for everything you are doing. When you do what you do out of love, you never fail because love never fails.

  1. Replace Fear with Faith in Christ

Philippians 4:13 says, “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power …” I have strength to face every condition by the power that Christ gives me. You see, the answer to overcoming the fear of failure is not a program … it is a Person! Jesus will give you the power.

When you experience fear, put your trust in God. Set great goals. Make sure your motivation is love and then go for it. Failure is not when you stumble in trying to serve God; it is when you never intend to serve God. At least you are trying, and when God sees that heart, He will turn everything around that may have been used by what the devil would define as failure. God says, “I will turn it around for good and it will become blessings to you.”

I’ll let you in on a secret. We all sin; we all mess up. But God is looking at our hearts. Keep your heart right; place it before the Lord. Set it on God, and you will watch your fear of failure fumble, fall and not rise again.

Comments 1

  1. Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom from God! This is something that is a struggle for me, especially in my marriage and I have learned from this reading. I know that in my struggles and weaknesses, God had carried me through this far and I know I can get through even farther if I just perservere and place my trust and confidence solely on God instead of my own understanding.

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