When I meet someone who is stuck in life I often discern that they are really stuck because they are afraid to fail.
Some ways that exhibits:
- They hate their current lot in life (job, relationship status, living situation) but are afraid that if they make a move that may regret it and long for their current comfort.
- They feel called to trust God in an area of their life but they want to wait for x, y, or z conditions to be right before they do anything.
- They want to try something (new career, new relationship, new life) but think they aren’t qualified.
Here’s a secret. I’ve got all of the same insecurities. I’ve got all the same worries. I don’t want to look stupid or act any more foolish than anyone else.
But I’ve also learned this:
- I’m not getting any closer to my dreams by sitting on my hands.
- I’m not getting any more qualified by sitting on my hands.
- I’ll never have a relationship with _____ if I don’t say hello.
- If I don’t go for a chance to live somewhere else than it’ll never happen.
- If I know God called me to do something, I don’t want to be like Jonah.
- If I have friends who try to hold me back, I know they aren’t the type of friends I want to have.
- I don’t want to sit on my porch swing in my 60s and tell my grandkids “coulda, woulda, shoulda” stories. I’d much rather tell them, “I tried it and sucked at it.“
Here are some things I’ve learned about failure.
- Failure is part of the process.
- Failure can actually be fun.
- Failure doesn’t make you a bad person.
- Being a failure doesn’t make you a fool.
- Failure is key to discovery.
- Failure is a learning device.
- Failure doesn’t limit your opportunities, it explodes them.
Fear is none of those things. Fear inhibits the process. It prevents fun. It makes you no fun to be around. It makes you feel foolish. It prevents discovery. It prevents learning. It limits your opportunities.
“The only thing worth fearing is fear itself” – Franklin D. Roosevelt