As most of you already know, the writer’s journey can be fraught with many fears that seek to keep us from our God-given destinies. Two of the greatest of these fears are the fear of failure and the fear of success.
The fear of failure and the fear of success are two sides of the same coin. One creates mental and emotional paralysis at the thought of failing; the other creates mental and emotional paralysis at the thought of success. Each fear has its own set of symptoms and solutions.
The fear of failure has its roots in perfectionism. Perfectionism is the lie that our worth comes from our performance. When a writer believes the lie of perfectionism, she sabotages success in the following ways:
- By procrastinating;
- By revising ad infinitum and ad nauseam.
- By substituting research for writing.
The fear of success, on the other hand, has its roots in the need for approval. Those who fear success believe the following lies:
- Success will cause loss of friendship or relationship;
- Success will result in loneliness;
- Success will cause people to like me for my money or my fame, not for who I am;
- Success will make me more vulnerable to public criticism if I make a mistake.
Both the fear of failure and the fear of success have their roots in the spirit of fear that is from Satan. Scripture tells us that “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
If you struggle with either the fear of failure or the fear of success, give your fear over to Jesus Christ. Then submit to God, resist the spirit of fear, and that spirit will flee from you (James 4:7).
Keeping your eyes on Jesus will serve you well in eliminating all fear from your life (Isaiah 26:3).
Now it’s your turn. Do you struggle with either the fear of failure or the fear of success? If so, what strategies do you use or have you used to overcome your fear?