How to Beat the Fear of Failure

Learn to cherish the life you are given. - quote on green-blue background

Choose to do what you consider important to do.
Do that important thing, and keep doing it.
Don’t give up on what is important.

Look at the gifts you have been given—name them.
Accept those gifts and practice gratitude for them.
Learn to cherish the life you are given.

Believe what is good and kind and truthful and lovely.
Find ways to pass along whatever is good and kind and truthful and lovely.
Dare to cultivate what is good, to show kindness, to speak the truth, and to create beauty.

Walk into each day with no more and no less than who you are.

  • These ideas are not presented in religious terminology. How might you connect them to your own faith, whatever it is?
  • If you could add a sentence to this post, what would it be?
  • How can you translate these words of encouragement into daily prayer?
About Vinita Hampton Wright 184 Articles
Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

13 Comments on How to Beat the Fear of Failure

  1. Vinita, these ideas are the core of a good life, whether we identify as Christian or not. I would try to connect them to my everyday life and not consciously as part of faith. If I could add a sentence: Be your authentic self with all your idiosyncrasies. Incorporating these words into prayer: being aware that God is listening intently and how happy that makes me.

  2. After reading this, I suddenly realized that never in my life have I ever felt ‘a failure’. Thank You God for all the endless blessings I have received from You…the Grace of loving the life You have givn me.

  3. Be reminded that He will never forsake you, He is with us in all that we do no matter what situation we find ourselves in, we can lean on Him.

  4. Consider your options and choose what you would like to do. Ask yourself,” Is it God’s will?”
    If the answer is yes- Do it and keep doing it.
    Don’t give up.
    Consider the gifts you have been given—name them.
    Accept those gifts and practice gratitude for them.
    Cherish the life you are given.
    Cultivate and pay forward what is good, kind, truthful, and lovely. Look with blessed eyes, hear with holy ears, and respond with patient and kind thoughts, words, and actions.
    Walk into each day and accept yourself as no more or less than who you are. You were made by God and in His likeness.

  5. The followers of Jesus learned that his crucifixion only LOOKED like failure. Learning is a slow process similar to the way of peeling an onion, layer by layer. At the root end we find the possibilities for still more layers.

  6. Fear of failure – I am in a position where God’s precious truth will be told. Yes there is fear not of the event itself but what I am putting up with till the court date. I am on week 28 of Ignatian retreat – as Jesus carried his cross so must we . God will grant me the courage I need – this week we take Christ down from the cross and prepare him for his tomb – Mary is there, those who had the courage stayed and so shall I stay. Jesus died for the truth, peace love forgiveness…our cross is not so dramatic none the less it’s my cross I carry and Jesus helps me to carry it.

  7. Thank you for these words. In order not to forget them, they are on a file card as a good visual reminder – when the feeling of failure strikes – so often unexpectedly.

  8. Vinita, Thanks for bringing a little light into our world. My sentence would be to recognize that light wherever it might be and give praise.

  9. Vinita,
    I was just writing out my Mother’s Day cards….and your words became the prayer I needed to copy and enclose in the card.

  10. Vinita, I will never be able to write with your eloquence and grace. Thank you for this prayer. My additional line to this post would be an expression of gratitude to God for my being given more gifts than I could possibly deserve. God’s generosity to me is immense, beyond my comprehension.

  11. I was just writing an article for a resource for Pentecost, and was thinking much the same as what you have said here. The one sentence I would add would be after Learn to cherish the life you have been given. Give life to others.

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