My Overwhelming Fear of Failure & Jesus

| August 27, 2018
My fear of failure, and Jesus

Y’all, I know this site is called Candidly Christian, but somethings are easier to be candid about than others.

Somethings are just plain hard to admit… Like my overwhelming fear of failure.

Over a year and a half ago I wrote about how we don’t need to face our fears, but keep our focus on Jesus. It was great advice, but I still get paralyzed by my fear of failure from time to time.

Okay, more often than not.

I tend to focus on all of my shortcomings. All the things I do wrong.

So, when I look to the future and see all that I could do, I really just see all the ways that I could fail.

The result leaves me with this overwhelming fear of failure to the point that I get sick to my stomach.

Yet I know that’s not what God wants for me.

My Fear of Failure & Jesus

When God brings opportunities into my life, He doesn’t bring them in so He can watch me fail and fall apart.

He doesn’t trust me with His words and His work knowing I could never stand a chance, keep up, or hold it all together.

Those are the lies of Satan.

If God has called you to do something, He will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 (paraphrase) #CandidlyChristian

And I won’t lie, more often than not, I’m tempted to believe them. I don’t have the best track record when it comes to organization, meeting deadlines, or any sort of success.

But God doesn’t rely on track records.

When God first called Moses and Moses asked, “But who am I that I should do this.” God didn’t list out his qualifications. He didn’t tell Moses why He had picked him. He said, “I will be with you.” (Exodus 3) It wasn’t about Moses, it was about God. The same is true for you and I.

That’s what I forget every time my fear of failure overwhelms me.

It’s not about me, it’s about Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, “The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” (NIV) I need to slow down and let that verse wash over me when I start to get overwhelmed. Because if God has called me, or you, to do something. Then we can trust that He is faithful, and He will do it.

Yes, I might fall short and get overwhelmed, but God will always, always come through and His will will be done.

What Are You Afraid Of?

I don’t know where this finds you today, but if you are ever overwhelmed by the fear of failure like I am, I pray it encourages you.

Are you afraid of failure? If not, what’s one of your other fears? It’s time to get candid – share with us in the comments below.

Candid ConversationsIf you liked this blog post, you’ll love Heather’s new book, Candid Conversations. While each story shares a unique perspective, the prevailing theme is that we all struggle, but there is hope to be found in Jesus. Get your copy from Amazon or click here to learn more.

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42 Comments

  • Reply Melissa Henderson August 27, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Fear of failure has plagued me often in life. I don’t want to disappoint my family. Most of all, I don’t want to disappoint God. But, He knows my heart already. He knows I will make mistakes. I am forgiven.

  • Reply Anne. Mackie Morelli August 27, 2018 at 9:50 am

    I love the verse where God tells Moses, “I will be with you.” What a great reminder that we are never alone and God will always provide and protect.

  • Reply Yvonne Morgan August 27, 2018 at 10:25 am

    I think fear of failure plagues a lot of us even if something has proven successful in the past. I learned my fear is more about what other people will think of me if I fail especially in something God has called me to do. And also things we think are failures are not how God sees them because it is all part of His bigger plans for the world.

    • Reply Heather Hart August 27, 2018 at 11:10 am

      That’s an important point, Yvonne. Just because things don’t turn out the way we pictured, doesn’t mean they are failures, they may be exactly the way God wanted them to be.
      Heather Hart recently posted…The Truth About My Life – Online & Off

  • Reply Maryann August 27, 2018 at 10:56 am

    I have been reading a lot about fear and doing some writing on it myself. Fear of not following through with the Lord’s plans has me at a stand still at the moment because it’s not even my fear holding me back, it’s my loved ones. I suppose that we are all a work in progress when it comes to this aspect of life. Thank you for sharing .

  • Reply Stephanie M. Gammon August 27, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Thank you for the encouragement. I love how when we talk about our fears , and how God comforts us, we build each other up.

  • Reply Alice Mills August 27, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    I found this encouraging today. It is really easy to fear failure and compare myself to other more successful people. I needed the reminder!

  • Reply Jennifer King August 27, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Fear of failure is very real for me too. I had wanted to start blogging over a year before I finally did for that very reason! Not to mention the other things I have put off or spent too much time worrying about. Thank you for this reminder! That passage in Exodus is one of my favorites for that very reason!

    • Reply Heather Hart August 28, 2018 at 8:22 am

      I cannot even begin to tell you how many things I have put off or given up trying before even starting because of my fear of failure. I know it’s rediculous, but it’s also very real. But, so is our God, I just need to refocus and remember that He is bigger and His ways are better. Thanks for stopping in, Jennifer.
      Heather Hart recently posted…You Are Not Alone… We All Struggle With Something

  • Reply Emily | To Unearth August 28, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    I loved this, Heather! I certainly relate, as the writing world and trying to get an agent for my first book can remind me of my failures on a daily basis. Thank you for this encouragement and reminding me that it’s not about me, it’s about Jesus!

  • Reply Nancy E. Head August 28, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Needed this today in my discouragement. Thank you! God bless!

  • Reply Michelle Skillern August 29, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Good stuff! Thank you!!!!

  • Reply Edna Davidsen August 29, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Hi Heather!

    Thank you for your honesty in this blog post, refreshing to read this kind of blog posts.

    You asked: What are you afraid of? I’m not sure what to answer to that one. I’m not scared of failure as such; I know, that I know what I need to know for my professional life. I guess it would be more related to if something happened to my family or someone I know.

    I’m also attached y fear now and then, but it does not control me.

    With love!
    Edna Davidsen

  • Reply Lacy August 29, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Wow! That verse in 1 Thessalonians comletely spoke to me. I can relate to the fear of failure, but when I feel that way I try to remember I felt called to do this! Such a beautiful reminder.

  • Reply Julie Plagens August 29, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Yes, you are right. It is not about me. I think that is where we all get tripped up. I heard a term not too long ago called “Imposter Syndrome.” That is short for a lie from the pit of hell. I know Satan is constantly at my back telling me that I am not ….” But I believe I am because God said I am. It is all about not believing the lies.

  • Reply Victoria Grace August 29, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Fear has plagued me at critical moments like when I got engaged, and when I want to tell others about Jesus. Fear infiltrated every fiber of being when I got sick and as a mother, especially as she became a teenager. I wonder if the enemy is more afraid of what your new book will accomplish, Heather. But instead of submitting to the doubts he is trying to feed you, your writing is bringing herds of women just like you closer to Jesus. I need these reminders daily that the only way to overcome fear is at Jesus’ feet every day.
    Victoria Grace recently posted…Testimony: A Word Study of Revelation 12:11

  • Reply Sarah August 29, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Fear of failure – it’s something I’ve dealt with a lot, especially recently. It’s so important to trust God has a plan and to step out knowing you are covered in His grace – not because of anything we’ve done to deserve it! Thanks for the encouragement today!

  • Reply Rebekah Beene August 30, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Wow. Mail Reading is your gift huh? Love when women share from their own hearts and thereby truly help other women be set free! Bless you and your words – may they always be salt and light to everyone who reads them.

  • Reply Yolanda Belvin August 30, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Fear can be very crippling indeed. For me it’s not fear of failing so much but fear of not completing all the things I want to do and He gives me to do. He absolutely amazes me with what He gives me though I have no idea if I will accomplish it or not. My fear is saying Lord I can’t do this, take this back and I will continue working on this or that. But if He trusted me enough to download these great ideas, who am I to say that I am unable to complete the task/project. I have to remember to stay focused on what’s most important, His will being done and so I work diligently to be on tasks 6 days of the week (most of the time) to tackle these things and to keep the work flowing. I remember my church or someone saying fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. So embracing this mindset reminds us that what we must see things spiritually and we acknowledge God’s power in every walk of life so that we are not duped by our emotions or the mountain before us. Stay encouraged and keep moving, this is our faith walk in spite of what we see or think.
    Blessings always,

    • Reply Heather Hart August 31, 2018 at 8:10 am

      You described it perfectly, Yolanda. Fear that I won’t be able to do it. Fear that I won’t be able to complete it. It’s really the same thing. I know I need to move past it. I know it’s not real. I know it’s all in my head. But Satan is good at distracting us. He works hard to get a foothold and he doesn’t want to give it up. That’s why it’s important to be candid like this. Because when we shine light in the dark areas and we all come together, Satan doesn’t stand a chance. Glory to God.
      Heather Hart recently posted…You Are Not Alone… We All Struggle With Something

  • Reply Sunshyne Gray August 31, 2018 at 11:16 am

    My favorite quote in this is… “But God doesn’t rely on track records.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24 was a perfect verse to replace “I can’t” with “He can”. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Lauren Sparks September 5, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    You are speaking to my heart today. I too struggle with fear. Thank goodness God doesn’t rely on track records. Mine look more like “wreck”erds.
    Lauren Sparks recently posted…God Showed Up

  • Reply Lilah Rouse September 6, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Hey sweetheart i feel the same way this days your work help me soo much.

  • Reply Jen September 25, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    This is exactly where I’m at right now and have been for most of my life. I rarely applied myself in school when I was younger because I’m inept and classmates had to help me since I couldn’t figure things out or do things correctly by myself. I remember my mom constantly yelling at me when I failed to solve a math problem the right way at age 7. And people telling me I make things too difficult because I’m a chronic overthinker. I don’t have very good judgement or sense so I have to rely on other people to help me. It has made me resent God on a very deep and personal level. For wiring me this way.

    Though God has been showing me (especially recently) that He loves me, He cares, I’m His daughter covered by His grace, my identity rests solely in HIM, I’m not defined by my failures and mistakes, and His strength is made PERFECT in my weaknesses, but it’s a colossal disaster every time my feelings get involved.

    I wrestle with anxiety, perfectionism, and overthinking. It’s difficult battle each day, some days worse than others. I worked as a restaurant server for almost 2 months but quit because I was tired, frustrated, and felt like a failure whenever co-workers griped at me for messing up and acted like I wasn’t trying hard enough. I just couldn’t do it even though God had reminded me that it was never about me, but Him. But I still gave up. After I got home, I see a fb post describing my exact emotions that day and telling me to not give up and rely on God’s strength, not mine. It was like God was saying, “If you had simply obeyed me and stayed, I would’ve helped you through this.” But I didn’t trust Him since I wasn’t abiding in Him. I was getting more and more distant each passing day. Thus I keep giving satan the foothold to bind me in doubt and fear every time I focus on my failures and negative reactions. I wished it would’ve been different, but that’s how I’m slowly learning, even though it’s painful. Thank you for sharing this. I’m glad to know I’m not alone.

    • Reply Heather Hart September 26, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Oh Jen, I can so relate. I too, am a chronic overthinker. But even when we give up, even when we fail, God loves us just the same. I’m so thankful for that and I love resting in His grace.
      Heather Hart recently posted…Only Jesus Can Heal The Pain In My Aching Heart

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