The Fear of Failure

Have you ever had a fear of failure? What would you tell people if you failed? What would your family think of you? Would people accept you?

These questions have a tendency to run through the minds of many people. They’ve run through my mind before. Why is it that we as tend to have an a fear of failure? Are there people out there that capitalize on the fear of failure? YES.

Today I read an article on the Dallas Morning News website ( about a high school girls basketball team that recently lost to another school 100-0. No that is not a typo. They lost 100-0. They didn’t score 1 point. 0 free throws made. 0 3 pointers made. 0 shots made.

Fear of failure

It is hard to imagine playing an entire high school basketball game and having one team score 100 while the other didn’t score a single point. Perhaps you are like me and could easily see how they could become very angry, upset with themselves, and basically take on a very negative attitude about their basketball and their lives in general.

This wasn’t the case. The coach of the team took the massive loss as an opportunity for a life lesson. He encouraged them after the game to consider how, if they were ever in the winning situation in life, they would treat someone who was losing, disadvantaged, or needed a lift. A sobering display of sportsmanship. Don’t you think?

How do we lose? What is our attitude towards others when they succeed and we don’t? I’d like to suggest that we (this includes me of course) applaud others when they succeed and perceive failure as learning opportunity full of life changing lessons and insights.

Let’s take failure head on. Let’s turn our fear of failure on its head. Let’s learn from a group of high school girls who got outscored on the court 100-0, but chose to outscore most of us in life by their positive perspective and treatment of others off the court.

In life we have countless examples of people who model how to lose. The reality is that those who model how to lose are actually the biggest winners. Many years ago, Jesus Christ appeared to have lost as he died on the cross, only to end up winning in end as He was resurrected and ended up conquering death.

As Lindsey I leave the United States in a few months, it would be easy for us to perceive every change in plans, mistake on our part, let down by others, or other difficult situation as a tragedy or failure and question what we are doing. Due to this, we hope to work hard to find nuggets of truth, learning opportunities, and encouraging provision from God each step of the way even when difficulties occur.

What about you? If you are called or directed to do something as a parent, spouse, Sunday school teacher, business person, or in some other way, you too can be confident that when difficulties arise that God may be up to something we never imagined before.

Exercise care over how you perceive failure and loss. What at first glance appears to be a tragedy could be part of God’s plan to miraculously do more than we could ever have conceived of, imagined, or predicted. He’s done it in the past and I’m sure He’ll do it again many more times. Don’t be afraid. Face your fear of failure today!

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