Did you know most people work harder to avoid failure than they will to achieve success? Fear of failure keeps them living small, scared and isolated. I know that feeling intimately. I was terrified of failing for years so I created all sorts of “reasons” not to try, but they were really just excuses to avoid failure. What a waste. I don’t want you to squander one more minute stuck in the lie and fear of failure.
Failure has become a curse word.
Fear of failure comes from a variety of reasons: hyper-critical parents who heap shame and disdain on their children for anything short of perfection. Social media comparisons. And even a track record of good works can cause people shrink back, refuse to take risks or try new things for fear of ruining their dazzling reputation.
No one likes to fail and yet, it’s inevitable. The truth is failure is often the best teacher. It provides experience and testimony of God’s grace, builds resiliency of character in adversity, develops a wonderful sense of humor. Failure keeps us humble and teaches us to ask for help, for advice, and for forgiveness.
How do you overcome the fear of failure?
To overcome the fear of failing, implement these 3 mindsets.
1. Reframe your thinking about failure.
Tell yourself this is one of your experiences not your identity.
Instead of thinking in terms of win or lose, consider a shift in thinking to WIN or LEARN. You either win/achieve/succeed or you LEARN from the experience.
Your recent failure can even be framed as your next testimony of God’s provision, rescue or acceptance. That’s a win, right?
2. Rethink the way you set goals.
- TARGET goal. This is your minimum standard. Just out of reach but definitely achievable.
- STRETCH goal. This goal will take a real push and a lot of prayer. You can get it but you’ll have to hustle.
- MIND BLOWING goal. This is your WOW goal. You need God to blow his favor and wisdom on you, but it could happen with your best efforts and God’s anointing.
For example, if learning to bake was a goal, your first or TARGET goal might be chocolate chip cookies for the family. A STRETCH goal might be all the homemade pies for the holidays. A MIND BLOWING goal might be a tiered wedding cake that someone PAYS you for.
3. Decide to do it scared. Progress comes with practice.
Just get at it. You have to be awful at everything before you can be great at anything. Think about it. How do you master any skill? Learn a new language or a musical instrument? Get good at cooking or tying your shoes or driving a car or playing chess? … By doing those things.
Replacing lies with truth.
The Bible says do not be afraid over 350 times, because fear, specifically the fear of failure, is a weapon the enemy uses relentlessly to keep you scared and small and isolated!! God is certainly powerful enough to teach you new things and redeem any mess you make in the process of progress!
I’d love to hear what new thing you’re practicing as you shuck off failure as a nonnegotiable. Leave me a comment below. I read every single one.
Verse of the day: Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21 (NIV)
Prayer: God Almighty, strip the lie of perfection from me. Restore me to do good work, and assure me that it is good enough as I do my best. Guard my heart and mind from believing that I am not worthy or that I must achieve to be accepted.