- an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.
What are you afraid of? Do you fear public speaking? Spiders? Heights? Being alone?
…or do you fear failure? There are so many people I’ve met in my years of teaching and mentoring who confess that they are deeply afraid of being a failure. I can’t say I’m shocked by this admission of truth; I believe most people fear failure and the byproduct of this fear is the inability to live the life one is destined to live.
In a very practical sense, I have found 3 ways to help me get over the fear of failure. None of these tips are cures, but they are certainly strategies I’ve implemented in my life to help me overcome my fear of failure and produce successful outcomes for my professional, relational, and spiritual life.
- When I feel the fear of failure setting into my mind, I immediately pray and ask God to give me courage and strength. Fear, in every instance, is a roadblock on the highway of life. It’s hard to get past it; it’s hard to get around it. As I pray to God, I find my feelings reshape and I am able to display stronger decision making skills instead of allowing fear to rob me of taking a risk. If you fear failure, you may not pursue opportunities that seem risky, but prayer helps you see the other side. That’s why my first tip is in all things, pray. One of the greatest anchors we have in this life is the power of prayer. God will help you see that risk is not the end all and failure, in His presence, is insignificant. Prayer will keep your fear in perspective and you strong enough to take risks when necessary.
- I ask myself one critical question when I feel fear crouching up: if this doesn’t work out, will you die? Sounds a bit extreme, but it works. Most often, the things we fear we will fail at aren’t life or death issues. If or when you fail at something, you can still pick up and move on with your life. Failure isn’t the end of the road, it’s the beginning of a new season, opportunity, relationship or experience. Embrace the unknown and be confident that you have everything you need inside of you to survive no matter the outcome.
- Failure can be used as a wonderful teacher if you are open to it. When you’re faced with an opportunity to do something different, don’t think about failure, think about all of the wonderful lessons you’ll learn at the end of the experience. When it’s all said and done, whether you fail or succeed, you gain wisdom and experience. You will end up stronger and wiser because you took a risk without knowing how it would turn out and decided to use the outcome towards your future.
Failure doesn’t happen to us as much as we think it will. If you’re struggling with fearing failure, remember to pray, that no matter the outcome of taking risks you’ll be alive in the end, and failure is often life teaching us wonderful lessons.
Fear not, 2016 is almost here. Get it done!