My heart raced as my thoughts ran amuck. Can I even catch my breath? Now, Sandie, don’t you hyperventilate again! Breath slow…. slower….
s-l-o-w-e-r. I quieted myself down with relaxing thoughts as I counted down from 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. I am now relaxed, I repeated to myself. What caused me to panic like this?
Yep. Fear of Failure! Maybe you can relate.
I don’t like failure- most people don’t. The fear of failure has kept many people from stepping into something new or reaching for their dreams. Why? Because the thoughts of what if I fail at this comes crashing into their minds.
The example I gave at the beginning was me thirty years ago. I’ve learned a lot since then. I’ve learned that if I wanted to fulfill my destiny and live my dreams, I had to make some changes. I had to face the possibility of failure head on- look straight into its eyes- and decide to take a risk, go for it, embrace change- if I wanted to walk in the success that God had for me. It was only then that I could fulfill my God-give purpose and experience fulfillment.
The Top Ten Fears
I’ve heard it said before that the fear of failure is listed among the top ten worst fears in life. It’s right there among speaking in public, fear of death and fear of rejection. Interestingly, psychologists have concluded that humans are born with just two basic fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises- the other fears have to be learned!
This means that we have to learn to fear failure. Failure was never intended to be part of our lives- God’s divine plan did not include failure. However, because of sin failure entered into the lives of mankind and it was so devastating it caused mankind to fear it!
Frightening Times Offer the Greatest Opportunities for Breakthrough
Some of my most frightening times have been the open door to my greatest opportunities and breakthrough. I can remember being so afraid of public speaking that I literally approached the microphone, panicked and literally could not speak one word. I was so embarrassed I ran off the platform. Luckily, I was only nine years old and not in front of a camera filming a television broadcast. Believe me; I had to press through much intimidation in my earlier years. And today, I can be on camera and not so frightened! Yes, it’s a breakthrough!
Years ago, when I began to pastor a local church, I had to face fear of failure head on. How did I do that? Well, I wanted to be obedient to God more than anything else in life. I was positive that He had called me to teach and preach the gospel- so I knew that I must break through the obstacle of fear. I had “learned” to fear failure. I had to break that cycle! And I did- by remaining obedient. My obedience fueled my confidence. Now, understand-often, it was a battle!
If you have failed, you’re in good company. Thomas Edison failed six thousand times to make an electric light bulb that actually would work. What if he had focused on the failed attempts rather than press through until the breakthrough? Edison had a dream, a contribution to make to the world. I, too, had a contribution, a call from God, to get out of the box of fear of failure.
Will you step out? Will you embrace whatever God is calling you to do? I’ve heard this said often: One of the wealthiest places in the world is the graveyard. Imagine how much untapped wealth is buried because someone was afraid to venture out and take a risk? How many inventions are buried? How many potential best-sellers died and were buried because a potential author was fearful of exposing his writing? How many people never achieved their dreams because they feared they might appear foolish by trying?
The Fearless Life
Living the fearless life requires us to get over our fear of failure. If we don’t, we become paralyzed and will never take risks. Will you allow failure to actually become a catalyst that will empower you to be successful? Dear ones, if you decide to never quit, you will eventually become successful. Think of how a baby learns to walk- with a lot of failed attempts, right? But, with every failed attempt is a deep-seated desire to get up and try again!
It’s time to look at failed attempts as opportunities to get up and keep looking forward. Look failure in the eyes- get up- and walk again! It’s time for advancement!
Your Best Awaits You!