I used to think I was pretty fearless. I love roller coasters. I’ve gone cliff jumping (even if one time it resulted in too much forward motion and a gnarly belly flop from nearly 40ft). I don’t get scared in haunted houses/corn mazes/horror movies. I’ll try all the adventurous foods. I love high ropes courses. I have yet to but want to go skydiving.
But I’ve come to the realization lately that I’m really scared of failure. Like, terrified. So much so that I will stay in the “comfort” of a situation that’s really not that comfortable out of fear of jumping into something else and failing.
I’ve also noticed that this only applies to things I’m doing directly for myself. If someone asks me to do something for them, I’ll almost always do it (within reason) without thinking about all the ways I could fail at it. Now, sometimes I’m only doing the thing because I feel obligated or I want to avoid any conflict by saying no, but I’ll still do it. But when it comes to making a change to something in my life, or starting a new project that I have expectations for, or making a change in a relationship, then I have an extremely hard time getting started.
If I’m being honest, I really don’t have many practical things to combat that (often irrational) fear other than the truth that perfect love casts out fear. Depending on the day, that truth does one of two things. It’s either a reassurance that God is in control and can 100% remove my fear, and I feel myself become calm and able to rest in the fullness of that. Or, I honestly struggle to let that truth sink in and I just get more frustrated because I can’t seem to let go of the fear despite knowing in my head that He is greater.
So, I hope just being real with you about where I’m at can be an encouragement to anyone else struggling with fear. While the things we’re afraid of may be completely different, we’re not alone.
It’s frustrating, and I often feel so stuck because of it, but I know God’s perfect love can cast out my fear. I know that, even if I don’t fully understand it at the heart level all the time. It’s a process, and sometimes I take three steps forward and two steps back, but the truth is always there. I hope you can see that, too
For a visual representation of my thoughts when it comes to all of this, here’s a screenshot of something by Rukmini Poddar, an artist I follow. This pretty much perfectly sums up my brain the last few weeks.