The Fear of Failure


My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)

I’ve been trying a lot of new things in my life lately and have plans to try even more. In doing so, I’ve also recognized I have to give up some items in order to put new ones in their place.  Being a loyal person, this can be hard for me. Which is why I really resonated recently with the following quote by Ed Cyzewski:

“Over and over again, I’ve learned that there’s no shame in trying something new. Sometimes we so fear the appearance of failure that we end up digging ourselves into deeper holes that make the sense of failure greater and greater. At a certain point we don’t just fear failure. We lose hope.” (Write Without Crushing Your Soul)

While I wouldn’t say that I had exactly lost hope in my life, I had certainly gotten into some comfortable ruts and had been fearing failure if I stepped outside of them. I needed to shake things up a bit. My biggest shake-up recently has been taking at night class at a local university.

Not having gone to there for my undergrad, I had many logistical fears to face before beginning my class: How long would it take me to get there after work?  Where would I park?  Would I be able to find my way around campus easily? How safe would I feel walking back to my car at night after my class was over? And that’s not even starting in on my fears about the class itself!

In the midst of these fears, I also recalled seeing the following quote in the same book, Write Without Crushing Your Soul.  It deals specifically with fears related to writing but I think can be applied to many other areas as well:

“Don’t expect the fear of failure to go away. You’ll usually get better at facing it and you’ll have better ways to counter it. Feeling a little overwhelmed may be a really good thing. It may be the sign that you’re doing something big and important. If you feel a little over your head, then perhaps you’re living by faith and trusting God to care for your soul along the way.” – Ed Cyzewski

“Feeling a little overwhelmed” and “feel a little over your head” certainly could be used to describe me in regards to my new class.  I love how this quote puts a good spin in these feelings though. It makes me think, “Wow, I am ‘doing something big and important’ here!”

I am also encouraged by the whole idea that I am walking in faith and trust through all this.  Partly because in the midst of all these changes I’ve been making lately in my life, a verse came across my path.  It was Proverbs 19:21 which says, Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

This was important for me to hear.  I can take my new steps (and be scared of failure) but in the end I do really want God’s will. Through this verse I see that ultimately this will happen – with or without all my planning.  So, as I go through the many changes in my life right, I will choose to lean into this truth and be comforted.

**I’m linking up with Holley Gerth’s Coffee For Your Heart today.  Click on the image below to find other great posts in the linkup too!**


2 thoughts on “The Fear of Failure

  1. Karen

    I used to be a back-row sitter and never speak up in Bible classes. And then one day, God told me that it was time to get off the back row and *teach* a class! (really? could that be God?) I resisted for a while but was so convinced because of the way He aligned things, that I had to obey. It was the scariest thing I have ever done to step in front of that class. But you know what? I also experienced the presence of God like I had never felt before too. It’s hard to describe, I just know that the Spirit was with me, guiding my lesson and bringing to mind things He wanted to say. It was amazing and I went on to lead many more classes beyond that.
    Stepping out into the unknown can definitely be fear-inducing, but it’s where we meet God and know the power of His presence. As long as we stay hidden in our safety zones, we only trust ourselves. Blessing to you in your journey in class and I pray you meet God right there in class as well!

    1. Bethany Post author

      Thanks for sharing that story with me! I really appreciate it. It is so neat to hear the ways God can use us when we finally allow Him to have control in certain areas of our lives. So true that change is never easy but often so worth it. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement, Karen.


Love to Hear Your Thoughts!