Overcoming The Fear of Failure

What is a man’s biggest fear? What concerns a man, what gives him reason to worry, to be stressed out?

I can’t speak for every guy – but this year I realized something about myself. Once I recognized it in myself and have taken it to God, I’ve seen it all over.

Men deal with the fear of failure.

I’ve realized that this fear of failure is rooted in a man’s desire to feel respect. We think that if we fail or don’t measure up, people won’t respect us.

However irrational or frustrating for us or others, the fear can keep us frozen. Even the little decisions become stressful.

Why does this happen? I’ve learned that it’s because we want to make the perfect decision – anything else is failure because we are trying to prove our identity in what we do.

The fear of failure prevents us from living with joy – with confidence – and being risk takers.

Men’s Core Question

A while ago I read Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. (It’s targeted at women…but hold on) They write about how men and women both have unique core questions. Men deep down want to know: “Do I have what it takes? Can I do it? Am I good enough?” Women long to know: “Am I lovely? Am I beautiful? Am I worthy?”

As men, we fear that we aren’t going to be able to do it – to be successful – to fulfill that inner desire to live out the calling in our heart. Can I do it? Will I be respected? Will I be appreciated? Will I be loved?

We search to get our question answered by temporary things.

We turn to women, money, cars, clothes, etc. to get it answered. On the flip side, women turn to men, clothes, relationships, self image, talk shows, etc.  (We pretty much go to the same things.)

Nothing truly answers the question. We end up unsatisfied, empty, longing for more.

Answering Your Question + Overcoming the Fear of Failure

I’ve realized that only Jesus can answer my core question. And I must continually go back to Him when I doubt or get hit with fear.

He gives our identity, our value, our purpose, our design.

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 118:6

Our eternal destiny has been set. We can’t fail. Even if we take a job and we’re terrible at it, we get turned down by a girl, we lose our money in a failed business…the one question has been answered.

We can trust Him enough to listen and make a decision. If our heart is to honor Him, we don’t need to fear not making the perfect decision. We don’t need to be frozen or fearful.

Trust in the Lord with all your heartand lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways honor him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

I have found that you can only be willing to fail if you are secure in your identity – and only Jesus gives me the solid, secure place to rest my self worth and identity.

Helping Others Overcome the Fear of Failure

  • Encourage.

I’ve found it’s really important to be a person that are encouraging the men and women around us.

Tell them how valuable they are –  why you are proud of them, how much they mean to you.

Identify the good qualities in them and speak to those.

When we are insecure, we know what our weaknesses are. Telling others where they fall short and doing so repeatedly doesn’t encourage – it further embeds their false perception that those weaknesses define them.

Encourage them by being an example. Tell them how you are proud when you do see humility and maturity and selflessness. That is incredibly powerful.

  • Speak their respect/love language

Find out what their love language is and speak it. Talk with them, call them, text them, make food, give them a gift, do whatever will encourage them to know they are loved by you – and by Jesus.

  • Pray for them

Speak God’s truth into their life. This is the most important. Share Scripture, give them not just your encouragement – but the eternal encouragement and security of God’s Word.


Hey, I'm Andrew. I'm living for Jesus and writing about all the things that I get to learn and grow in. I have passion for Jesus, people, music, economics, the ideas of liberty, and having adventure.

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