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Friday, November 17, 2023

I Don’t Have to Fear Failure

In Ecclesiastes 7:20 it says, “There is no one on earth who does what is right all the time and never makes a mistake.” (GNT)

Often we think that  failure is the “unpardonable sin”. I think it’s because we idolize success. But that kind of pressure creates major stress for me.

The fear of failure has many different faces. It can cause me to be indecisive, a workaholic, and a perfectionist and to cling to safety. Because I’m afraid to fail, I shun all kinds of risks.

So the fear of failure has an iron grip on my heart. Even some of the best and the brightest people in the world are the most impacted by a fear of failure. They may look confident, but they are crippled on the inside by their fear.

That’s why I need to internalize this one simple message: We’ve all made mistakes.

It’s not just a “me problem.” It’s a human problem. The Bible says, “There is no one on earth who does what is right all the time and never makes a mistake” (Ecclesiastes 7:20 GNT).

Not only have I made mistakes in the past, but I’ll make more mistakes in the future. It’s inevitable. Even playing it safe and refusing to take risks is a mistake!

But “what if I fail?” I’ve already failed many, many times in life. And I’ll fail again and again in the future.

Even superstars stumble. The greatest basketball players in the NBA only hit half their shots. The most famous actor in the world doesn’t always make a blockbuster movie. Failure is normal.

I’ll never overcome my fear of failure until I fully accept the reality that I’m not perfect.

The Bible says there is only one failure I need to fear: “Be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace” (Hebrews 12:15 NCV).

I need grace. In fact everyone does!

When I let go of the fear of failure, it will let go of its maddening grip on my life. Only then can I accept the grace of God

Currently my biggest fear is picking up the phone and talking with someone, without prior notification (i.e. texting first.) This area is impacting my ability to reach out with some of my leads. I need to push forward. Maybe I can even practice with a colleague or friend.