How to Overcome Fear
Updated: Jul 19, 2020
The Complexity of Failure
Check out, How to get out of feeling stuck in between.
Failure may seem like a simple word, but it's meaning is much heavier. Failing is complex. Are you letting the fear of failure hold you back? Complacency keeps us comfortable. It traps us into a false sense of security and prevents us from making a move or taking a risk. Fear tricks us into believing that we are bound to fail. It appears to be safer to stay put than to have to face the let down of failing at something. Evading risk always gets us nowhere fast!
It can be scary to grow beyond a defeat. If you have failed at something in the past, it doesn't mean that you are one! If everything came easily, how would we develop the character we learn through the experience? It would be very difficult to guide others or help others through similar things. If we crumbled every time we fell in the face of adversity, we would remain stuck where we are, until we decided to move.
Failing at something, simply means, there was a lesson to be learned, a skill to be developed or a mindset to be refined.
Champions Who Overcame Failure
There are many types of people in the world, but there are two general responses to being knocked down. 1. We stay down 2. We get back up. It's really that simple. Sure there are varying shades of this course, but no matter what, once we are down, no matter how slowly the climb back up, we have a choice. Are we going to get up, or are we comfortable where we landed?
Michael Jordan, arguably the most famous basketball player ever, didn't get there by accident. When he was in high school, he was cut from his varsity team for not having enough skill. He also missed far more shots that he ever landed, and yet he influenced the game and the culture around him, and still does. MJ achieved what he did because he is a champion. Not the type that is always victorious, more like the type that never stops trying. He experienced diversity. He hit plenty of walls. He was knocked down all along the way, but it never stopped him from getting back up again. He never stopped showing up for himself.
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” Thomas Edison
Champions are that because when they come upon an obstacle they figure it out. The only thing extraordinary about them is their ability to adapt to change and use it to propel them further. This is why they are successful. You have this same option. You can choose to be extraordinary, just like MJ and Edison did. It's all about effort. Even if you need more help to get your mind there and motivate you, it's so worth investing in yourself. Find your drive.
How to Grow Beyond a Fear of Failure
Check out, How to get out of feeling stuck in between.
The main problem is, that comfort is false. It's a liar. If you decide to stay down, you will always be aware that there is another option. You'll most likely feel drawn to looking up, it's only natural. You can feel the pull. You might look around for a little bit, most likely comparing your surroundings to your current surroundings. You may even be making excuses for why you are refusing to move beyond where you fell, but at some point most of us realize that down is not where we want to stay! This is how we grow beyond the fear of failure.
Don't confuse your circumstance or your ability with your identity.
It's very easy to get wrapped up in our feelings. I mean, come on, we have so many of them, right? Hopefully as we mature, we are learning more about ourselves and how to control our emotions. This is typically different from our youth, when we were testing the waters of life. Your identity is important. What you placed your worth in, determines your truth.
You're so much more than any mistake you've ever made. Brush it off and trim it back. Remove all that is dead and not producing anything in your life and make way for the new growth to come in. Nurture what is left and you'll be amazed. Oh, The Places You'll Go, once you've picked yourself up and used those challenges to propel you. Tap into your drive, let the spirit guide you. All failures are hidden opportunities.
A Warning about being Stuck Due to A Failure
A pastor and mentor of mine, Bill Cruz from the Good Samaritan Mission, had an amazing analogy of what being stuck really does to us. It's a story of what being lukewarm really does to our lives. Truth be told, he's a much better storyteller than I, but I'm going to give it a shot...
A man was out walking by the beach one day, exploring the mangroves and enjoying the beauty of his unfolding view. As he stood there and admired the unfolding scenery he found himself sinking in the sand. He only meant to pause for a moment, to take it all in, but that stop along the way created a situation far beyond anything he could control.
Quick sand is a funny thing. The more movement, the quicker it takes you in. As he sank deeper, he called out for help, but no one responded. Because he had strayed off the path and did his own thing, by going where there were clear warnings not to, he ended up stuck. He was sunken to his knees, but realized he still had his phone. Three calls later, a friend was on their way to help.
After visiting for a while, his friend left and returned with food for him, as he thought the man looked hungry. A little while later, the friend left without helping the man out of his situation. The next visitor, another friend, who happened to be a rescue worker, thought that he looked uncomfortable, so he brought him a pillow and a blanket. Neither visitor offered him any help out of his ever sinking situation, instead they offered remedies for the symptoms of the problem.
More time passed and it was getting rather late. The man was on his own. The blanket and pillow were a comfort, until they began to sink with him. He figured his phone was probably lost at the same time, when he dozed off. He was also already hungry once again.
Out of desperation, the man finally called out to God. "Lord please help me." A few moments later, something amazing happened. A fisherman came by and asked him if he needed some help. After analyzing the situation, he exclaimed, "I have just the thing!" and ran off.
The man was now sunken up to his chest and his arms were getting tired from holding them up. He contemplated his situation. Just how did he get here? Although both of the first two visitors comforted him, neither of them helped him become free. They both left him stuck due to their indifference to the situation. Neither of them listened properly. They both failed to react to help him become unstuck. Instead they left him continue to sink and he ended up even deeper.
The fisherman returned with a rope. He tied it under the man's arms and knotted it to secure its hold. The man exclaimed,
"Please hurry before it's too late!". The fisherman began to pull the man out. It wasn't easy. It took an amazing amount of strength, and the sand did not make a very good surface to create resistance. The fisherman showed how much he valued the man's life, by sacrificing his own strength. The man was finally free.
As the two men laid on the ground, catching their breath and regaining some of their strength, the both realized they had connected with each other, far deeper than any words could ever express. The fisherman had risked his own life to save him. The man only reached the predicament he was in, because he was comfortable with making his own way and too unconcerned with where he was to take the next step.
The man's friends only offered him comfort. They helped temporarily relieve him by only aiding what was immediately urgent in the situation. They weren't focused on what was ultimately important, the man's life. The fisherman, who was a stranger to the man, gave the biggest sacrifice of them all, one that risked his own well being in the process.
"Why did you save me?" The man asked the fisherman. He replied, "I too went down the same path as you once. If it had not been for someone else pulling me out, I would have never moved from this spot. Their risk, like mine for you, pulled me from my stagnant, lukewarm comfort and challenged me to never give up. It taught me to show others that they are also worth my sacrifice, like I was to my savior."
The fisherman had paid the good deed forward. He recognized someone else who was stuck along the same path he had been rescued from and saw that they were in need. If the fisherman's life was worth the risk for his rescuer, his life suddenly meant even more. It was time to face his fears. Time to keep moving forward, so that he was no longer at the risk of sinking back into a false sense of comfort.
How to Overcome Fear
Jesus did the same for us and still does. He rescues us when we are sinking. His sacrifice covers every mistake we continue to make. He will not leave us stuck without a way out. He's not interested in our comfort, He's interested in our heart. Jesus makes us want to become more like Him. His love is amazing. His sacrifice was so great, how could we ever become too complacent to spread His good news and His love?
"It is the Lord that goes before you. He will be with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8
How can we fear failing, when Jesus has guaranteed growth and strength through following Him? He strengthens us through the process. Success comes through the persistence of our faith. It comes when we trust and thank the Lord before the "thing" even happens. With Him, there is nothing to fear, He walks before us, beside us and behind us. He will not allow us to sink, when we are on His path. This doesn't mean things will be how we want them to be. If things work out differently, it's because God knows better than we do.
We must face our fears in life. Despite how scary they seem or how much we really don't want to, it's something we need to do. It's how we grow and adapt. God should be the first "person" we go to for help, not the last. He's not a genie ready to grant our wishes, when we are finally ready to acknowledge that we need help. When you find yourself looking around for help, take that as a sign to look up to where our true help comes from.
If you need help anywhere along the way. Reach out to me, I would be happy to.
Keep Smiling Always