Someone once asked me, “What would you do with your life if you had no fear?” That question rattled me. How would you answer it? What dreams do you have for your life? Are they God inspired? If so, what holds you back from pursuing them?
For many, the fear of failure prevents them from taking risks and pursuing great things for God. But why do we fear failure? Really, why? Is failure so bad?
Think about it. Failure is how we learn. You learn what doesn’t work by trying and failing. Did you not fall the first time you attempted to walk, what about the first time you tried to ride a bike or swing a bat? Why do children learn so fast? They are not afraid to fail, learn from it, and then try again.
Think about how foolish it would be if a little one took his first steps only to fall and then said, “I’ve had enough of that. I quit. I can’t do it.” We expect them to fail along the way. Why should it be any different for adults.
Zig Ziglar says, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you learn to do it well.” If your life is going to be devoted to attempting things of real significance then you must learn to plow through your fear of failure.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” I don’t want to be a man who never does anything. I would hope that you, along with me, would want to attempt bold and exciting things for God in our lifetime.
If that is our desire then we had better learn to conquer our fear of failure and move ahead in spite of such fears.
Think of some of these ways we fear failure…
1. We fear we are inadequate. Too often we are paralyzed by our fear of failure because we think that since we have failed we must be failures. Not so! There is a difference between what happens when a man says, “I have failed three times,” and what happens when he says, “I am a failure.” Start acknowledging your failures but never discard your own life or value in God’s eyes because you have failed in some areas. We are all inadequate, but Christ makes us whole in him.
2. We fear rejection. Unfortunately people allow this fear to keep them from pursuing God given tasks. This should not be the case since rejection is something that comes to even the brightest and most talented.
*In 1902, the poetry editor of Atlantic Monthly sent back a collection of poems with this note, “Our magazine has no room for your vigorous verse.” The poet was Robert Frost.
*In 1905, the University of Bern rejected a doctoral dissertation as “irrelevant and fanciful.” The writer of that dissertation was Albert Einstein.
*In 1894 an English teacher noted on a teenager’s report card, “A conspicuous lack of success.” The student was Winston Churchill.
Rejection is a part of life. The law of averages says you are bound to have some rejection as you are pursuing success. Accept the fact, don’t fear it. You will never have a chance at success if you don’t risk the possibility of rejection.
3. We fear we are incompetent. God promises his empowering and equipping. We simply have to trust God to give us what we need. How does that work? Simple, we move forward in obedience, believing that he will give us the strength, and knowing he provides along the way.
Fearing these things only keeps us from making the attempt. The fears may be real, but the reasons for allowing such fears to stop us from obeying God’s call are illegitimate.
Challenge: Ask yourself the question, “What would I do with my life for God if I had no fear?” I dare you. Ask it!
Question: What are some other fears that we often allow to paralyze us from living a life of faith and risk? Share them with us. You can leave a comment by clicking here.