When people want to change, one question often haunts them: “What if I fail?” While failure is a common fear, you can take steps to overcome it.
I had to confront the fear of failure when I decided to write my first book:
- What if no one liked it?
- What if nobody wanted it?
However, I decided to start confronting that fear with an empowering question:
“What if I succeed?”
It was inspiring to imagine the potential impact on my life, my loved ones, and those the Lord may bless me to influence for His kingdom!
Plus, I would have peace in doing what the Lord was leading me to do; I would do my part and trust the Lord to do His.
1 John 4:18 shares a fundamental truth about fear:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
When love is your motivator for change or dream becoming reality to benefit others, then fear has no power to stop you.
I pray the Lord perfect you in His love to cast out fear!
Now, let’s take a look at the three areas that, when you solidify them, will help you overcome failure fear:
1. Overcoming the Fear of Failure: Establish your Commitment
Author Darren Hardy wrote one of my favorite definitions of commitment:
Commitment is doing the thing you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”
It is easy to make decisions in a mood! But once that initial enthusiasm wears off or challenges come, will we abandon our goals?
As believers in Jesus, He is our best example of commitment. After all, Jesus did not feel like going to the cross for our sins, did he? However, Jesus prioritized the Father’s will above His own:
“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.“– Matthew 26:39
Jesus demonstrated His commitment through his actions! Commitment is a heart decision regarding what matters most to you.
Therefore Proverbs 4:23 advises us:
Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”
To help establish commitment, write down your answer to these questions:
- Who is the person you are committed to becoming?
- What does she believe?
- How do her daily actions reflect her beliefs?
You will face challenges on your journey, perhaps even disappointments or failures. However, keep these points in mind to persevere:
- A failure is an event, not a person. The Lord created you on purpose and for purpose. Commit to your purpose to know Him better each day and share Jesus with those who do not yet know Him.
- One of the causes of fear of failure is believing your self-worth is tied to your performance. Cut those strings! Your identity in the Lord is separate from your performance.
- Consider “disappointment” as “missed appointment.” It means an event didn’t happen in the timeframe or way you thought it would. Acknowledge the letdown feeling, then adjust your timeframe or expectations. Life goes on.
- Replace the ”all or nothing” mindset with a teachable spirit. Quitting after you make mistakes is as ridiculous as stumbling on stairs, then deciding to throw yourself down the rest of them! With a willingness to learn, you gain wisdom and resilience.
2. Overcoming the Fear of Failure: Direct your Daily Time
God gives us the gift of time. However, this resource is limited.
Consider that we have 16 waking hours each day, not counting sleep. That is 960 waking minutes every day.
Will you INVEST those valuable minutes or waste them?
Psalm 90:12 advises us:
So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
It helps to heed the warning in Psalm 78: 31-34, in which the Lord chastised the Israelites for living aimlessly:
In spite of this they still sinned, And did not believe in His wondrous works. Therefore their days He consumed in futility, And their years in fear.”
Futility means “pointlessness or uselessness.” The best way to avoid futility and live with purpose is to prioritize your daily time on activities that help you become the person you are committed to becoming with God’s help.
Keep these points in mind:
• Assess how you spend your daily time. Ask yourself about each activity: “How is this helping me become the person I want to be?”
Ensure that your priorities show up in your daily activities.
• If you think, “I need to do that,” write it down immediately to capture it.
In that way, you are not relying on your memory, which can cause stress and overwhelm trying to remember everything you need to do!
Writing things down is an action that moves our ideas from the intangible to the tangible. That is one step closer to bringing them into reality – something you can see and work on!
3. Overcoming the Fear of Failure: Protect your Daily Focus
Distractions are a significant concern today! In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus warns us about allowing ourselves to become entangled in worldly affairs:
Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.”– Matthew 13:22
Because forgetfulness is the enemy of faith, you need systems to remember and help you focus on your daily priorities.
Ensure that your daily routine supports your commitment/priorities – Less stress and guesswork!
Use technology as your assistant. One fear that feeds failure fears is fear of the unknown. However, you gain confidence the more you make the unknown, known through your daily routine!
Here are some tools I use to help me remember my priorities in my daily routine:
• To-do list/Kanban board for project management
• Setting reminders/alerts on my phone
• Apps, such as a Countdown app to stay motivated with upcoming fitness goals/events
• Daily journaling (use a Note app, Evernote.com, if you want to write, or if you prefer, use the Voice menu app on your phone to keep a Spoken word journal).
When directly properly, your focus can become as powerful as a laser cutting through steel!
When you invest your daily energy into taking steps toward success rather than avoiding the fear of failure, you will overcome it!
Remember these three things to confront the fear of failure:
- Establish your commitment
- Direct your daily time
- Protect your daily focus
When you do this, you will become everything the Lord created you to be, with Him on your side!
Be Blessed with Success,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Do you struggle with overeating sugar? If so, you are not alone!
Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my journey to losing 85 pounds and dropping from a size 22 to a size 8.
In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge online course (inside the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss.
“Prayer for Weight Loss”