Fear of Failure
Have you ever avoided trying something new because you were afraid of failing?
It is hard to step into the unknown, especially if, as a child, you struggled to be perfect and please others.
Do you remember when Peter got out of the boat? Well, I would be in the boat with the other 11 disciples, hanging on for dear life. Instead of hanging on, Peter focused on Jesus. The result? In a raging storm, he had courage to leave the security of the boat to walk on the water with Jesus.
Are you thinking it’s better to be safe than getting hit by a rogue wave? I hear you. I sometimes feel that way.
Here’s the bottom line. Peter realized the boat wasn’t what kept him safe. It was Jesus. And so he tried. Yes, he did get knocked down, but as he floundered, he cried to Jesus for help. Peter is the only person, other than Jesus, to stand on the water; he alone experienced the exhilarating historical event of walking on water with Jesus.
The Unknown Can Be Intimidating
What feels intimidating to you?
For me, it is painting. I love to paint, but I don’t have the skills or technique to capture what I see. Longing for perfection, I fear embarrassing myself. Believing I will fail, I shrink back.
Last year, the Lord provided a special place for my daughter and me to visit – on an inlet of the Gulf. Surrounded by beauty, I had the opportunity to do my first plain air landscape.
It was terrifying. I knew I couldn’t do it.
But for a change, instead of focusing on what I couldn’t do, I chose to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.
In the quiet morning, only the birds and fish were present. Feeling unseen (in a good way!), I picked up my paintbrush and began to dabble, experimenting with colors. In the process, I painted a picture!
Lay Down What Limits You
I realized trying something new requires I lay down my need to be safe. The disciples clung to the boat. Peter let go and stepped onto the water.
Fear of failure involves fearing the censure of others. To try new things, we must let go of the fear of man.
Jesus whispers, “The fear of man brings a snare. If you walk in truth, I will set you free. If you remain hiding in a snare, you lose the joy I have for you.”
Wow! To try means choosing to step out of the trap of fearing what others think! I can only be truly safe if I place my hand in the Lord’s and step out of the boat.
Instead of Fearing Failure, Enjoy the Gift in Front of You
Now, this is important. I didn’t paint a masterpiece, but I made a precious memory. Being in the moment with Jesus, I enjoyed the quiet waters He led me to as a safe place to rest and be refreshed in my spirit.
Our God is the God of new beginnings. He delights in giving you opportunities to experiment. Choose to enjoy Him and His creation. As you take that step, breathe deeply. You don’t have to do everything perfectly. Relax and enjoy the moment; take advantage of the gift God has given you.
Let go of what you can’t do, of what people might think, and step out of the boat. Try! It’s okay not to be perfect. Even the most talented person is not perfect.
Trying New Things Makes You Stronger
My mother liked to quote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phl 4:13).
What do you long to try or learn to do? What holds you back? Is it fear of failure? When Joshua was venturing out into a whole new field, the Lord said, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid…”
Trying new things is never easy. But in the process you grow stronger, learn new lessons, and experience the Lord in a whole new dimension.
Paul encourages: “Make the most of every opportunity…”(Ephesians 5:16)
Even Jesus Had to Learn and Grow
My Hero of all heroes is the Lord. While on earth, Jesus learned by doing, the same as you and me. This verse encourages me to try: “The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him” (Luke 2:40).
Dear Heart, choose life.
When the enemy says you are going to fail, reject his lies. He wants to steal the gift the Lord has for you.
Take the ground in the name of Jesus. Tell yourself, it’s okay to make mistakes. Embrace the simple joys God designed for you; in the process, celebrate learning new things.
I’d love to hear about something you are learning or want to learn.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isa 43:19)