About Me

Monday, September 25, 2017

FEAR OF FAILURE VS. FEAR OF SUCCESS

Fear paralyzed me. I didn’t want to disappoint God or others. As a new writer, I was catapulted into the literary world. My first job was writing a column for an online website. One month later I was asked to be the managing editor of that website. I knew nothing about uploading articles and graphics. The founder of the site, also a literary agent believed in me and taught me the basics. I’m still learning how to navigate the site, but I’m more confident.
One year into my job, I became a submissions reader, responsible for forwarding book proposals to the agent and sending pass letters for those that did not meet the requirements. Now I’m a junior literary agent, all in less than two years. My knees are shaking, and my stomach is in my throat because I don’t want to fail God or my clients.

Fear of failure is not a new feeling for me. Life is filled with failure. School, relationships, jobs. I expect to fail, especially when I try something new.
 Through the Word of God, I learned I could overcome any obstacle because I have the power of Christ in me. So why do I fear?
As a child, my biological father told me I would amount to nothing. He was abusive and called me an animal. If my earthly father did not believe in me why would a holy God? I had a mindset to always expect failure.
 I wrestled daily with the truth of the Word. The lies I believed were deeply rooted. The Word took hold in my heart and destroyed the lies.  The transformation did not happen overnight.
How did the fear dissolve?
 I recited these verses daily.

“even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Ephesians 1:4 ESV

“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16

I said to myself, If God chose me before the foundations of the world to be holy and blameless knowing everything I’ve done and will do, salvation has nothing to do with my works. He must truly love me. The shackles loosened and fear of failure dissipated.
I believe the Word and know I have the power to overcome. God proves Himself faithful over and over.
Gods power in me conquered the fear to speak, teach, write, and go places I never thought I could.
He led me to Honduras, Togo, Africa, the dark streets of the inner city, and speaking platforms. The fear of failure was gone, or so I thought. God had another lesson for me.
People would say I’m successful. I teach at writer’s conferences, ladies retreats, and small business’.  I acknowledge that only God can enable me to accomplish these tasks. I claim this verse daily.
 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV)
When I looked at what God was doing in and through me, I got frightened. I feared success.
Questions whirled through my head,
What if I don’t want the spotlight on me?
What if someone in the audience confronts me with opposing views?
Will success make me prideful?
Will I fail God or someone I love?
I pondered these questions and realized— fear of success is fear of failure wrapped in a pretty package of pride. (click to tweet)
 If I truly believe God’s power works in and through me, how can I fail? If I operate in the Spirit and give God all the glory, fear should be eradicated, right? 

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV)
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 NIV

Pride tried to control me again. I ministered in my power, and the fear returned. I looked to my inability and not to God’s perfect ability in me. I put pleasing people ahead of pleasing God. I wanted man's acceptance more than my Heavenly Fathers.
I demanded perfection from myself so that I wouldn’t fail God or people. When I did make a mistake, I would beat myself up.

“Forgive me, Lord for taking over again. Help me draw on your power.”
I realized that my fear, no matter how pretty the package it’s wrapped in, is distrust in God and His promises.
God has called each of us for a purpose,
 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)
He will help us accomplish the work he has ordained for us.
I have the following verse hanging in my office to remind me that God empowers me, I need not fear failure or success.
 “Be strong and courageous and get to work. Don’t be frightened by the size of the task, for the Lord my God is with you; he will not forsake you. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly. 1 Chronicles 28:20 TLB
Do you fear failure or success? God’s perfect love drives out all fear. Will you join me in trusting Gods Word when fear rear’s it’s ugly head? 
Join the conversation.


15 comments:

  1. Thanks for addressing the topic of fear. Fear seems to be a typical reaction when interacting with God. Heavenly encounters in the Bible usually involved the heavenly messenger saying "Be not afraid." When we are facing and fearing whatever challenge life throws us, the instruction from God to "Be not afraid" should come to mind. He is with us, so there is no reason to fear.

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  2. Kudos for trusting Him and pushing through when fear attacks! You've come so far so fast. Thank you for sharing your journey. I'm amazed at the doors that open and close when we say yes to the call. "The work He has ordained for us." I love that line. Have a great week Cherrilynn!

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  3. Fearing failure definitely hinders us from all God wants for His children. I, too, believe in the power of repeating verses to counterattack Satan's attacks. Thanks for the reminder!

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  4. Alice, Amen there is no reason to rear. Thank you for the encouragement.
    Meg, I praise God for His Spirit of power. I would cower if I had to do it on my own. Thank you for the encouragement.
    Melony, Amen, Quoting verses changes us. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. Cherrilynn, I am so darned happy for you! I still remember meeting you at Blue Ridge three years ago. You and I were both fearful first-timers. And now look what the Lord is doing through you! I'm so glad you pressed through and relied on HIM!

    Blessing to you!

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  6. Fear is an intimidating emotion. I am thankful I fear the Lord, but at the same time he takes away all other fears. Thanks for the encouragement. Del

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  7. Becky, Thank you so much. God is the only reason I'm here. I love you my sister in Christ. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Del, Thank you for stopping by. I wholeheartedly agree with you. Fear of the Lord alone is key.

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  8. Cherrilyn, Oh how I related to your post in so many ways. Fear often paralyzes me too. I rejoice in what God has done, is doing, and will do in your life. He has done an incredible work in your and it is marvelous. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart with us.

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  9. Callie, Thank you for your encouragement. We serve an Awesome God. My prayer is that we all cling to HIm and never fear.

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  10. Fear-- a scary topic.
    You have a beautiful testimony of how God's love and His Word have lifted you out of fear and continues to do so. Thank you for sharing and teaching on this subject.
    This is a very encouraging post.

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  11. Thank you for addressing both the fear of failure and the fear of success. Both can be paralyzing and discouraged. A great reminder of God's provision for both!

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  12. DaLee, Thank you for taking the time to post. I appreciate your comments and your encouragement. May God bless you as you serve Him.

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  13. Cherrilynn, What a post! I appreciate and relate to many of the verses you cited. God takes us places we desire and fear and He shows Himself in both and we see ourselves in new ways. Such encouragement. Thank you.

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  14. Marilyn, Thank you for stopping by. God's word is precious. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

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