Do you have a problem with fear of failure? Hopefully the following will help you:
It’s not about you. God has put you on this earth. He is the one who gives you the abilities, and lack of abilities that you have, and He is the one who calls you to His purposes, and every day He puts challenges in front of you that you get to attempt.
If you can do it on your own, then why would you need God? Anything worth doing is going to have a chance that you will do it badly.
You are God’s anointed person. If you serve Him, He has anointed you to the work He has called you to.
You can face all circumstances in faith, you can have the courage to face failure as just a part of life – if you know who your source is, and you really understand in your heart that you aren’t perfect, can’t be perfect, and are in fact growing and changing every single day from now until Jesus comes home. You are either changing and expanding, or changing and shrinking.
People who let fear of failure stop them actually begin to shrink as people – their sphere of influence gets smaller and smaller until they are a circle of one. People who know that failure is part of success find that their sphere of influence grows every single year.
“Achievers are willing to vary their approaches to problems” (John Maxwell) – Sometimes we fail in life because we have a set way of approaching things, and if our way doesn’t work, we get stuck. Edison said “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – and then he invented the light bulb.
Winston Churchill said: “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
Sometimes, the failure that we have is in relationships. We find that people are fun until we have conflict. When we have conflict, we don’t know how to deal with it, and we walk away, run away, or fight. Instead, we have to learn to walk through conflict.
Years ago, I developed the saying: “If it’s everybody else, it’s probably you.” One day I became aware that everything coming out of my mouth about my life was negative. At times like that, I step back and look. My perspective has been skewed, and I have begun to interpret other people’s actions in a negative fashion towards myself.
Now what does God think about failure?
1. Your idea of success probably isn’t God’s.
He told Abraham he would make him the father of a nation – but Abraham couldn’t manage to get Sarah pregnant. Sarah was pretty sure it was her fault, so she had Abraham sleep with Hagar. Ishmael was born. Sarah must have thought – Yup, I was a failure, but I figured out a solution. God said – that wasn’t success. I had a better plan, and we are still going with it.
2. Other people’s idea of success probably isn’t God’s.
Joseph was supposed to be in charge of his brothers – but he was a snot and they didn’t like him – he landed in slavery, then again in prison. It would have been easy to give up on a dream. To see oneself as a failure. But Joseph wasn’t a failure – all of his hard times were part of God’s plan to put him where he needed to be when God needed him there, and the Children of Israel were saved from starvation because of Joseph’s ‘personality failure’.
3. A real definition of success is one who leans on God.
In the reading for tonight, Gideon saw himself as one of the least – as a failure – but God saw him as perfect for a job that required someone who would lean on Him.
4. If you are going to live every day full on for God, you are going to make mistakes.
Peter was brash. He was brazen. If anyone was a winner, it was Peter. Then he sunk while walking on the water. Jesus’ response? “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Then he rejected Jesus three times. Jesus’ response? The angel told the women (Mark 16:7) “But go tell his disciples AND PETER, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” (emphasis mine) Then, on the day of Pentecost, Peter was used magnificently to preach to the crowds, and 3,000 were saved – yet Paul later called him out for duplicitous behavior.
To live a life of fervor means living your life out loud. If you are going to make a mistake, at least make it loud. On the other hand, you are wise to wait, and only move when God is telling you to move. The trick is that when God tells us to move, the fear of failure is often overwhelming, because we know just how much we can’t do – and that is why we have to be anchored on the Rock.
God sees you as you are, and as you can be. His view of you looks through the lens of a creator.
Knowing who you are, and Whose you are gives you the power to walk when God says walk, to wait when He says wait, and to keep going when you messed up. One thing we also gain is the ability to let other people walking with us make mistakes too.
So, like I started out, it’s not about you. It’s about doing what God has called you to, when He asks you to do it. We are powerless, He is powerful…let’s ask Him to do it.