Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fear of Failure

A good friend and I had quite a discussion about the fear of failure yesterday. She has found herself in that place recently, that place where the fear of failure is immobilizing her. I can strongly identify, as I have had the fear of failure all my life in so many different areas. I had an over achieving older sister, that was also my father's favorite. I always had the mentality that if I didn't really put forth true effort - if I didn't try with a whole heart attitude then when it didn't work - I wasn't really a failure. On the other hand,what if I what if I gave my all, I tried my hardest and didn't succeed? Then I would truly be a failure.

I don't want to claim that these thoughts never cross my mind anymore - but I have learned quite a bit in this area over the past few years. I have come to realize that if I don't do anything - failure is a sure thing. I also know that when God calls me to something, I can be like Jonah and run and and be miserable, or I can trust that He has a plan and give him all of me and see what happens. Honestly, that is what has helped me overcome my fear of failure more than anything else, the fulfillment of doing what God calls me to do and seeing the fruit He produces is truly healing for me.

I know one thing, the times I grow the very most are the times I come out of my comfort zone. I rarely grow when I am feeling comfortable, it is when I am willing to be uncomfortable that I grow. I have learned that I want more than anything else to be a woman of integrity. A woman that does what she says she will do when she says she will do it. A woman that her family, friends, co - workers, and customers can depend on without question.

Abraham Lincoln is a great example of failure leading to success - if he would have quit after one or two failures, we would have never even heard of him. I can't help but wonder how many "Abraham's" are out there that did give up one or two failures too soon and never made it to the other side to see the success of where God truly wanted to lead them.

I just think - "Where do I want to be in 20 yrs?" and "Is the path I am on today going to get me there?" I know one thing - I do not want to look back 20 years from now and wish I would have done more... I do not want to have regrets - things I knew I was called to do, but let fear immobilize me to the point I did not do them. I am living today to the fullest - I am looking at what has eternal value, not temporary value, and I am investing in those things. The most important things with eternal value - I believe - are people. I am investing in people. You know some of them will just flat knock you on your back, then walk on you as they walk on by. I will NOT let those people rob me of the joy of continuing this journey. The joys far out weigh the heartaches. I wonder why the heartaches seem to stand out more than the joys at times. Maybe it is just my perspective - maybe I am choosing to remember the one that stomped on me instead of focusing on the ten that I was able to help. I choose to allow myself to keep getting up, dusting off that dirt, and moving forward. Staying down in the dirt, is not an option for me.


Dawn said...

great words :)
stepping out of our comfort zones is so hard... i do try to remember the blessings that will come from it though!

Shellmo said...

YOu are such a strong person Michele - I really admire that! You're right about stepping out of your comfort zone - I have had to really force myself too, but then I find I'm always happier once I've done so (whether I succeed or not!)

Anonymous said...

Trying your best and "not succeeding" is not a failure - it's the trying that makes it a success. In my expereince, with my work, what people generally regret are not things they've done, but things they have not done.