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Fear of Failure vs True Success
by Rick Stephenson
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I have been taking some training sessions recently that have helped me see some things in a new perspective that I have never really visualized before. The concepts have to do with doubts, faith, the fear of failure and true success. Boy are these loaded concepts or what? I could spend days, weeks or even years attempting to write out volumes to explain it all but I believe that these things shouldnít be so difficult to understand.

We all struggle with doubts and fears when we are being honest with ourselves. But why donít we like to admit that we have doubts? I think the
basic reason is because it shows a chink in our armor and sometimes these weaknesses have been exploited by others to drive their weapons deep into our souls creating sensitive wounds. Therefore, we only want to present a strong faÁade making others believe that we are impervious to being struck down by anything we canít control. Oh, but you see thatís the very essence of doubt! Doubt is fear Ė fear of the unknown and we canít control something we donít know about, we can only attempt to control the things we do know about (and usually we really donít do all that great a job of being able to control those things either when you get right down to it).

Faith on the other hand is believing that something is possible even though we may not possess the logical proof to support it. However, today what many call faith is not really faith it is more like belief. I know you may say well really whatís the difference arenít they one and the same. No, they are not. Belief is only the acceptance of truth that something is real. Belief usually is not a motivator, faith is. What do I mean? Belief can be set around evidences and hard facts while faith is more ethereal and harder to grasp. Belief can make you stand up or stand firm and to fight for a cause but faith can create the cause in the first place. Faith is something you see with your heart and not necessarily with your eyes.

How do doubt and faith relate? Some will say they are opposites like night and day or dark and light but I say they are actually more like kindred fellows who live so closely together it can sometimes be hard to know where one begins and the other ends which I guess might be a little like light and dark. That is the edge of light and dark. You know at some point you are standing squarely in light or in dark but itís the point in the middle that is more intriguing. At some miniscule hard to discern point in the midst of the area of grey is actually a point where both light and dark meet. I am not so interested in the area where faith is solid or doubt has been embraced but rather when standing on the edge of either and attempting to find on which side one will land.

If we are being completely real we all have those moments in our lives. Sometimes these moments pass us by rather quickly as within nanoseconds we resolve the struggle and resume our journey. Other times we wrestle for what can be days, weeks or even years over issues that linger. I believe no matter if the struggle lasts micro flashes of time or are long drawn out periods the process is the same. When we stand on that fine line between the two that what we are really encountering is a decision to be made within the heart: will we allow doubt or faith to control our next decision? That is will we trust or not trust? Or better yet in what will we trust?

I believe trust is the heart of the issue that we must resolve and to trust means that we can only either trust ourselves or trust something greater than ourselves. Since mankind is created equal (we all posses the same basic abilities as humans) to trust someone else is simply a restatement that we trust ourselves to make a good judgment about someone else. If we simply trust in ourselves we will ultimately lean on the side of doubt because no human possesses all the facts or information required to make a perfect decision. However to trust in God reflects in faith.

Taking this further then I believe it is the struggles and challenges we face in life that God allows us to come to the precipice of the decisions that we face because it is in those difficult moments that our true character is revealed. I think therefore, that God actually is not afraid of our doubts but rather encourages us to face them because in doing so we are forced into wrestling with ourselves like Jacob did (see the book of Genesis) until we come to the realization of who we really are and in what we truly trust.

Hence, I even believe it is God who brings us to these great moments of struggle to encourage us and in those moments He is ever willing to show
himself able and to prove out our faith but we must be willing to take a step in his direction first. When we straddle the line between light and dark all we see is the grey but the moment we step in either direction, the consequences are revealed, either we see nothing at all as darkness envelops us or our vision becomes crystal clear as light illuminates around us.

So how does the fear of failure and true success fit in to all of this? Because they lie on the same plane as doubt and faith. If we are afraid of failure then in reality we are trusting too much in ourselves and our abilities which again are not perfect and never will be. Yet on the other hand when we trust God to accomplish what we cannot, we will always find true success. Think of it as a teeter totter on which one side resides fear of failure and the other side resides true success. As in the design of any teeter totter there is a pivot point a fulcrum that we are standing at when it comes to making a decision. When our weight is evenly distributed on both sides of the fulcrum the teeter totter is level but there is also no movement and no success. When we begin to shift our weight from one side to another then the teeter totter begins to move up and down on both sides, there is movement but no success. Thatís what happens as we vacillate between doubt and faith or fear of failure and true success. Itís only when we move in either direction, having made a decision that the teeter totter stabilizes and reflects the outcome of the decision. In the case of a decision for doubt or trust in ourselves, we push God away and remain grounded in only ourselves never really taking risks and going in the direction He desires for our lives thereby eluding true success. On the other hand a decision for faith and trusting God drives doubts and fears away and brings us even closer to God and His will for our lives.

I would encourage you today that if you have be teetering between doubts and faith and struggling with the fear of failure to trust God, He knows whatís best and Heís been trying to show you His power and goodness. Donít you think itís time to let Him show you that there really is no worthwhile competition between the fear of failure and true success!

Proverbs 3:5-8 (KJV) ďTrust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.Ē

God Bless! - Rick

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