I have realized over a couple of years of living life, that I often grapple with a fear of failure. It has held me paralyzed often. I am often overwhelmed by a task, and then simply don’t even try, because of the impending doom of failure. Fear of failure usually goes hand in hand with perfectionism. Because whatever I do must be just so, if not, I have failed.
Watching this play itself out in my daughter, seeing the tragedy of the loss of talent, has forced me to take a hold of it and deal with it in my own life. Maybe even forced me to recognize it within me for the first time. I have watched my second born give up on her giftings and talents, because she just believes she cannot do it. Her standards are impossibly high, and she is so extremely determined. Her mere attempt will already be better than most, but in her mind she is not reaching what she has envisioned, and so has failed.
Third born on the other hand, does before thinking, with much less talent, and yet, she has shot beyond the second born, because she has tried and learnt and then practiced again, and learnt.
It really seems true that practice makes perfect.
I was encouraged by Peter’s failure just the other day when I read about him in the gospels. Dealing with my fear of failure, has made failure a popular theme in my life.
Peter vehemently disagreed with Christ when He told Peter that he would deny Him. But then went straight on to do just that mere hours later. Epic fail. Public epic fail, at that!
But Peter went on to use that failure, learn from it, and became one of the loudest voices proclaiming Christ. In fact, he was crucified upside down for his proclamations. Absolutely no fear of failure. Never denying Christ ever again.
Another epic fail of Peter’s was when Christ addressed him as Satan. When Peter told Christ that He would never be crucified, Jesus recognized the voice of the enemy, saying, “Get behind me Satan.” But then, proceeds to build the church on the rock that is Peter.
Trying and failing stretches us. We learn so much from failure, if only we will try in the first place. Try, fail, get up and try again with more determination and resolve. Never, ever, let Satan lie to you and tell you you have failed and can no longer be used by God. That is condemnation and is designed to paralyze you from doing God’s will, it does not disqualify you. If Peter had felt disqualified for denying Christ, we would have no church today.
In the words of the famous Nike slogan: Just Do It.