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Confession: I Struggle With Fear of Failure

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I cannot do a cartwheel. Not today, or yesterday, or 10 years ago. If I even think about it attempting one, every scenario about what could possibly go wrong runs through my head. I tense up and chicken out before my feet even leave the ground. I can do lots of things, even lots of athletic things, but a cartwheel? No thank you, that is not happening.

Low-key, I could probably do one. But the idea of failure totally paralyzes me. So I will go on, never knowing the feeling of hurling myself into a 360° spin and sticking the landing, until I choose to not let the fear hold me back.

If you’re like me, this isn’t just a problem for the topic of gymnastics. The fear of failure shows up at our jobs, keeping us from stepping into that big opportunity with confidence. It shows up in our relationships, isolating us from getting too close in case we mess things up. It holds our mind captive as we replay the moments in life that fell below our expectations and wonder how things could’ve been different. In more ways than one, it can make us a slave to fear.

Very recently, I caught the fear of failure wreaking havoc in my life in the form of dissatisfaction. It felt like nothing I did was enough, or even deeper, I wasn’t enough. I would look at my life, or even specific things I was doing, and there was always a disconnect from what it could or should be. Now a certain level of self-critique or the desire to be better is healthy, but when you lose the ability to celebrate, to say “it is good”, or accept that you did the best you could––things can get toxic. It definitely did for me.

I was really wresting with God about it all when I found myself listening to a song called “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel. It completely wrecked me in the best of ways. God reminded me of a powerful declaration made in Galatians 4:7 –

“Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are His child, God has made you His heir.”

Hear these three words today: You are enough. You are enough, because God is enough. He is enough to make up the distance, to cover our faults, and to redeem our failures. He looks from Heaven with all the approval of a proud Father and says “That’s my girl!” in our direction. He knows we will miss it sometimes, yet He loves us personally and passionately anyway. We can be released from the bondage of fear, especially fear of failure, because He has already seen our failures (past, present, and future) and covered them with His love. We simply give Him the best that we can with where we are and what we have, then rely on Him for the rest. He’s after our heart, not our perfect performance.

I don’t know what declarations you have to make today for what you are no longer slave to, but here are some of my own:

I am no longer slave to dissatisfaction.

I am no longer slave to “what if”.

I am no longer slave to disappointment—from myself or others.

I am no longer slave to not being enough.

I am no longer slave to fear.

Daughter of the Most High, you are enough. You have inherited all you need for this becoming journey: perfect love, unending grace, total approval, limitless wisdom, boundless strength, complete peace…it’s yours to fearlessly take on everything God has in store for you.

Don’t let another moment be held captive by the fear of failure. Together, let’s boldly declare that we are no longer slaves, but dearly loved and fully equipped children of God.

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