The Norman Transcript

Religion

January 17, 2014

Do we have to fear failure?

NORMAN — Fear of failure is a prominent fear in most of our lives. For some, it results in a drive for perfection. And anything less than perfection is seen as failure.

Friends and family members with perfectionistic expectations are difficult to live with and are miserable within themselves. They are driven by fear, and they are never satisfied with themselves or with others.

Another consequence of this fear is an unwillingness to try. Fear of failure can create an internal logic that says, “I can’t fail if I don’t try.”

How many fun, adventurous learning experiences have we missed out on because we were afraid to try? How many relationships have remained stagnant because we were afraid to try something new?

Procrastination is a third consequence of fear of failure. The logic of procrastination is interesting. It goes something like this: “If I wait until the last minute, I will have an excuse for my failure.” (“I did the best I could with the limited time I had,” “I stayed up all night working on it. I could barely keep my eyes open,” etc.) If we succeed, we feel lucky. If we fail, we have a built-in excuse.

There are alternatives to this fear. One of the alternatives is to understand that a mistake or failure is something that we learn from, rather than something that defines us.

When we make a mistake, it is something we have done, not something we are. We are not all-knowing. We will make mistakes. God has made it clear that He defines us by what His son did for us on the cross, not by what we do

When we make a mistake, it is something we have done, not something we are.

It also is important to keep in mind that this earth is not our real home. We are described as strangers in a foreign land. What others around us describe as failure may not be failure at all.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Religion
  • Hnsen Luger Kate Hansen still riding the Olympic cloud

    Not many people can say they actually accomplished their lifetime dreams. Even less can say they did it before turning 22....

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tests of a living faith

    We recently started a study on Wednesday nights of the letter James wrote to the church. This Bible book is a practical guide to Christian living, but more than that, it really forces one to think honestly about their faith. Is your faith ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Which Bible bit is most misinterpreted?

    The Rev. Scott Gordon, Claycomo Baptist Church: Many passages vie for consideration, but the first “bit” that came to mind we find in Matthew 7:1-6 and Romans 2:1-5....

    July 24, 2014

  • CAIR-OK plans day of service

    The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) will join Mercy Youth Club and IST Youth at the fourth annual Ramadan Day of Service Saturday....

    July 18, 2014

  • Guest preacher and author to speak

    The Reverend Dr. James White will preach, as well as discuss, his new book, “Brief Christian Histories: Getting a Sense of Our Long Story,” this Sunday at First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster. White will preach at both 8:40 and 10:45 ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Life on earth is a vapor

    The last of the baby boomers turn 50 this year. This generation of Americans, born from 1946-1964, is named after the post-World War II “baby boom.” I am a baby boomer and as one of the “late boomers,” one of the last to turn 50 — ...

    July 17, 2014

  • What does a bird ‘alone on a housetop’ mean

    Reassurance of God’s mercy The Rev. Betty Hanna-Witherspoon, Ebenezer A.M.E. Church: This verse, Psalm 102:7, has a notation in the New Living Translation, “A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the ...

    July 17, 2014

  • Hillsboro resident’s first CD will benefit Haiti missions

    When Angie Sawyer's son passed away at age 5 she tried several ways to deal with her grief. But none of them worked, she said, until she turned to God. So to tell her story, she recently recorded her first CD, “On The Right Track.” All ...

    July 10, 2014

  • Anti-bias order creates rift

    In the intensifying debate over religious liberty, President Barack Obama faces pressure from opposite flanks as he prepares to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender people in ...

    July 10, 2014

  • Is anything really free?

    We have just celebrated the nation’s 238th birthday. We are extremely proud of and attached to freedom. The Founding Fathers wrote into the founding documents practical truths that make those freedoms attainable. I love the fact that they ...

    July 10, 2014