How To Use Faith To Overcome The Fear Of Failure

How To Use Faith To Overcome The Fear Of Failure April 19, 2024

Using Faith to Overcome the Fear of Failure
Is the fear of making a mistake stopping you from living your life? Here is how I started using my faith to overcome the fear of failure. Photo by Jasmin Ne on Unsplash

“Do you trust yourself?” my therapist asked me as I started telling her about some issues I was struggling with. Trust has always been a problem for me. From freely trusting anyone who walked into the room and immediately becoming friends—to not trusting the people closest to me—my thoughts and feelings on the subject often tossed me “to and fro” with each new suspicious twitch of the eye or the story someone told me that “didn’t add up” or make sense to me.

It was easy for me to give my trust away and then quickly take it back after any infraction. I knew I didn’t trust other people. However, I wanted to learn to trust people and build stronger relationships, but I never thought about whether I trusted myself. 

I Was Living A Life Of Fear Instead Of A Life Of Faith

I hurried home after my therapy appointment and realized I didn’t trust myself. Tears freely fell into my lap as I realized how afraid I was of making the wrong decision. If I wanted to grow, I would have to take the risk and trust my thoughts and decisions. I was afraid I would make a mistake, lose my job, destroy a relationship, or completely ruin my life.

I was “walking on eggshells” around everyone, including myself. Everything I did revolved around one question, “Is this the right thing to do?” I wanted to be the perfect mom, wife, Christian, daughter, employee, and writer. My goal was to leave no room for rejection and for everyone to like me and my choices.

If I made the right choice and said the right thing, people (and jobs) would stick around forever—right? That was my hope, but that’s not how life worked out. Right then, I knew I needed to find a way to use my faith to overcome my fear of failure.

Why Do We Need To Trust Ourselves?

When we don’t trust ourselves or trust in God—every choice becomes a life or death, all-or-nothing situation. We can become paralyzed by every choice we have to make.

According to Kendra Cherry, MSEd at VeryWell online magazine, the fear of making a mistake is also considered the fear of failure and can result in low self-esteem, poor motivation, self-sabotage, and shame. After some research, I soon realized I wasn’t alone in my fear of failing or making mistakes. This new awareness of the fear of failure made me dig in and ask difficult questions about why this was such an issue in my life, especially since the foundation of my belief in Jesus began with trust and faith in Him. 

There are many scriptures in the Bible about not being afraid and getting rid of fear. Walking in faith requires courage and moving past our fears. So, this was an important topic to explore because fear of failure was holding me back from walking in faith and trusting in God. Overcoming my fear of failure was key to abiding in Him and sharing the good news with those around me.

God sent His son to us so we could move from our fear of making mistakes to living a life of trust. Not trusting God has led to many situations within the Bible that would be considered wrong or, in other words, a mistake. But even when someone in the Bible made a mistake and turned back to God in faith, He was faithful to redeem and restore.

However, knowing this, you might still wonder how you can start using faith to overcome the fear of failure.

The Parable Of The Talents

So, what’s the big deal if we are afraid to fail?

Doesn’t God want us to live a life of excellence?

Isn’t God disappointed in us when we make a mistake?

These are all questions I struggled with when diving deeper into the fear of failure, and through this journey, one parable stuck out to me: The Parable of the Talents.

In this parable, Jesus shares that fear of making a mistake can cost us significantly. We see this when the man given one talent buries his talent because he is afraid. But this was not okay with the man’s boss; instead, the thing the man feared most—the rejection or demotion, happened in the worst possible way when the boss came back to settle accounts. 

How often have you decided it would be better to bury your gifts and talents because it’s too hard to move forward and steward them in a harsh and cruel world? When you fear making the wrong choice, you decide it is better to make no choice at all.

This is what the man did in the parable; he made no choice and was more concerned with making a mistake than being obedient and taking care of his responsibilities.

But you need to remember that every choice comes with a risk. Failure is possible with each choice you make, and you will have the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. However, if you choose to move forward despite your fear, you might succeed and be entrusted with more responsibility.  

How To Use Faith To Overcome The Fear Of Failure—You Can Trust God 

So, what was my next step after realizing my fear was holding me back?

I decided my one goal would be to proactively take the risks I was afraid of taking and to trust God in the process.

I had to trust that if God gave me a gift, talent, or relationship to steward in this life, He would give me the wisdom I needed to move forward. 

Does that mean I do life perfectly? No.

Does that mean I never make a mistake and never have to repent? No, again. 

Faith in God and learning to trust ourselves are vital to overcoming the fear of failure or making mistakes. We need to realize we are not perfect, and God doesn’t expect us to be perfect; we are called to be faithful. 

We learn our values and trust God more through taking risks, which teaches us to trust the process. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) that His grace is sufficient, and His power is made perfect in weakness. So, even if we are imperfect and make a mistake, we can learn that God’s grace will cover us, and we need to trust Him with every choice we make.

About Heather Bixler
Heather is a mom of three young adults, has been married to her husband for 22 years, and is a proud fur mom to her dog, Iris, and two cats, Picasso and Esther. Heather has her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and is pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. You can read more about the author here.

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