Episode 20. Understanding the Fear of Failure Spiritually

failure fear Jun 21, 2021

How Fear works Physically

Fear is not only affecting you mentally but physically also. Fear is experienced in your mind, it triggers a strong physical reaction in your body. 

As soon as you recognize fear, your amygdala (a small organ in the middle of your brain) goes to work. It alerts your nervous system, which sets your body’s fear response into motion. Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are released. Your blood pressure and heart rate increase. You start breathing faster. Even your blood flow changes — blood actually flows away from your heart and into your limbs, making it easier for you to start throwing punches, or run for your life. Your body is preparing for fight-or-flight.

Fear of Failure

Now think about all of that happening when you think about making a mistake, messing up or failing at something. What do you think you are doing to your body if that is something you fear on a daily basis?


Fear of failure can consume you and hold you back from things you want to do or hold you back from peace, success and happiness then this episode will definitely point you in the right direction to get started defusing those fears

Fear of failure can also be thought of as Perfectionism. The fear of making a mistake in any way. This can lead to you wanting to do nothing rather than make a mistake. This also leaves you feeling like you don’t measure up. That things are so unattainable that you feel like giving up.

Fear of Failure Affects Your Faith

When you feel like this you lose motivation, desire and courage to move forward with faith. You also start to give up on asking God for help and answers and can lead to not feeling worthy enough for God to give help and answers. In other words perfectionism can keep you from receiving revelation. 

Looking at failure in this way is how Satan wants us to look at failure. He wants us to feel like we have to be perfect mothers, wives, friends, disciples and if we aren’t then we are inadequate and will never be adequate for the love of God. This is exactly what Lucifer fought for in the premortal life. He wanted to change the plan of salvation so that there were no opportunities for failure and only room for perfection.

God's Plan

So why didn’t God change his plan when Lucifer presented his rebellion to the plan? Because God knew that you needed to experience imperfection, opposition, failure, grief, to fail, to fall short, to be mortal, to feel the pains and joys of a fallen world. 

God knew this is how we learn, this is how we become whole and eventually be like our Heavenly Parents. So you know what that means? Our Heavenly Parents experienced failing, messing up, making mistakes, being imperfect and falling short. They have gone through what we have gone through and are now perfected.

You too will be perfected

Elder Uchtdorf said:

“We are all infants compared to the beings of glory and grandeur we are designed to become. No mortal being advances from crawling to walking to running without frequent stumbles, bumps, and bruises. That is how we learn. Committing our efforts to repenting, enduring, and applying what we learn, line upon line, we will gather light into our souls.

In other words our Heavenly Parent learned what they needed to learn by taking their failures and repenting.


In this instance, repenting does not mean you sinned because you made a mistake or failed in some way. Repentance means a turning of your heart, changing of your mind, and a fresh view about God. What if the repentance process is you turning your heart back to God when things do not go the way you thought they should go?

Because lets be honest, failing is really in the eye of the beholder.

Do you really know that what you think is a failure is how God sees it?

Maybe what you define as failure is actually a success in God’s eyes.

You will only know or feel that through the process of repentance and returning to God for strength, comfort or understanding. 

Elder Uchtdorf also said:

"Because of Jesus Christ, our failures do not have to define us. They can refine us. Like a musician rehearsing scales, we can see our missteps, flaws, and sins as opportunities for greater self-awareness, deeper and more honest love for others, and refinement through repentance. If we repent, mistakes do not disqualify us. They are part of our progress.” 

Perfection is really IN Christ.  When we turn to Christ that is perfection. This process of repenting and turning to Christ when you feel the feelings of failure helps your love for Him and His gospel dispel those fears.

If you are wanting some concrete tools on how to turn from the mindset of fear of failure as inadequacy to fear of failure as growth and an opportunity, I have a mini course that will do just that.

The skills I teach in that course will help you to feel peace, confidence and faith.


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