I quit everything! Overcoming fear of failure! - A woman sitting on a bed with her head down to her knees holding a tissue

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“I quit!” It’s not that I ever truly said those words out loud, but they were most certainly the end result of what fear of failure was doing to me. I quit everything! Overcoming fear of failure to me meant quitting before I could actually fail at something. After all, then it was on MY terms!

I would start projects or businesses or even relationships only, later on, to give up on them. I would just abandon them while in progress and, sometimes, even when they were thriving! You see, I never seemed to ever finish ANYTHING! And I could never understand why that was.

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I Quit Everything – Was I Really a Failure?

It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy what I was doing; in most cases I did. But no matter how much enjoyment a project gave me, it would eventually get filed in the archives with every other project I had ever started!

Why? Why could I not ever seem to complete anything?

Some people may look at someone like me and think they are lazy. Maybe they are flaky, maybe unmotivated, maybe selfish.

But it is not any of those things. It is something far deeper; something more hurtful.

 


 

You’re a Failure

When I was twenty-four I heard words spoken over the phone that would stay with me for the rest of my life to date. The words cut like a knife and caused scars just as deep as if they came from one. They were words spoken by a close family member.

There were some people at the house to do a job in the yard. This person called me on the phone and asked me to try to catch them when they were on their way out and ask them to give him a call.

My daughter, who was four at the time, was playing in her room and after a few minutes she began crying. I got up and ran in to see what had happened.

I was doing what any mother would do.

While I was in her room comforting her, the people left. It was only a few minutes but I had missed them.

I then called this relative on the phoneI Quit Everything! - Overcoming Fear of Failure 1 to tell them I was sorry but my daughter fell and I had to go help her. And that is when he said the words…

“You’re a failure.  You always were a failure, you’ll always be a failure”


 

Words DO Harm!

Words like those hurt no matter who they come from. But the pain is deeper when it comes from someone that is supposed to love you.

And it was those words that would contribute to me never finishing things in my life.

I’m a failure.

It started to seep into the core of who I was; a failure. I believed it. After all, it came from someone close to me, someone I trusted.

It wasn’t just those words by themselves, but the cutting remarks that would come from this person from that point onward. However, the words ‘you’re a failure’ were by far the most damaging because they summed up everything this person would ever make me believe about myself over the years.

I felt, without realizing it, that if I just quit something, if I just walk away from it, then I can’t fail at it. If I give up BEFORE I can fail, then this person isn’t proved right.

It was on MY terms. It was MY choice. Therefore, it wasn’t a failure if I just made my own decision to quit!

 


I Quit Everything – A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

What I didn’t realize was, in my attempt to protect myself from his words, to protect myself from this “prophecyI Quit Everything! - Overcoming Fear of Failure 3” he had spoken over my life (you’ll ALWAYS be a failure), I WAS indeed proving him right. I was failing. It was just that I was choosing it rather than letting it choose me. Every time I had given up on something was a time I failed.

I had let him win by giving up out of FEAR!

 

 

False Evidence Appearing Real

We all know this acronym for FEAR. It is truly accurate.

What I was facing were these words; nothing more than words. I was giving mere human words the power to harm me and mold me into someone God never intended me to be.

You see, I had actually succeeded in life up until that point. I had always been a good student. I had friends, a beautiful daughter and I had a business that I was working from home at the time that was successful.

It was a lie!

I HADN’T always been a failure! But that lie was about to become truth.

After about a year of building a successful business, I quit.

I started college, I quit.

I was marriedI Quit Everything! - Overcoming Fear of Failure 5, I quit.

I.Just.Quit

I was fearing failure where I had not even experienced it just because this person labeled me!!

Now to be clear, I was not saved yet at the time. That would come later. But I firmly believe the enemy was setting me up to fail at even that!

 

 

 

Overcoming Fear of Failure and Rejection

After I was saved I thought I would have the victory!  I thought this would all change and I would have confidence enough in Christ to be able to finish what I start! I would finally not feel like a failure because God saysI Quit Everything! - Overcoming Fear of Failure 7

“..and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” Colossians 2:10 NIV

“…even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love…”
Ephesians 1:4 ESV

“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
1 John 4:4 ESV

 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:13 NIV

But that wasn’t the case!

I began to feel unaccepted. In other words, I felt like somehow I had slipped under some spiritual VIP rope and snuck in but wasn’t truly supposed to be there. Like somehow I got God on a technicality but wasn’t really wanted even by Him.

I feared failure even at my salvation, even though my salvationI Quit Everything! - Overcoming Fear of Failure 9 had nothing to do with me!

 


 

 

I Quit Everything, Including my Faith!

So I fell awayI Quit Everything! - Overcoming Fear of Failure 11 from my relationship with God. I walked away from Him. I couldn’t even accept that even HE could love me.

Now, I didn’t truly quit. Deep down I still had my faith in JesusI Quit Everything! - Overcoming Fear of Failure 13. But I lacked the relationship. I wouldn’t go to God. My belief in Him was there but I didn’t walk in it. I felt like an outsider. Unwanted. Unaccepted. UninvitedI Quit Everything! - Overcoming Fear of Failure 15. Because that was how this person had made me feel.

I stopped trying to know God deeper because I was afraid He would see me the same way this person did. If I just kept this distance between me and God maybe He wouldn’t notice what a mess I was.

Oh but He notices! And He gives us grace and gives us beauty for ashes.I Quit Everything! - Overcoming Fear of Failure 17

He saw my mess. He saw my fear. And He saw my loneliness.

Oh, and there was loneliness. I didn’t even feel my Christian sistersI Quit Everything! - Overcoming Fear of Failure 19 wanted to know me. I still go through that today, like somehow they will see I snuck in! So I kept everyone at a distance and only built surface friendships. I tried to be everything to everyone so that people wouldn’t see the failure this person said I was.

So that I would be liked. So that I would be accepted.

But God is bigger than our failures, He is bigger than our mistakes and He is bigger than the lies the enemy tells (sometimes through the mouths of people who are supposed to show us love) and He breaks through those walls we put up. And He can break through your walls too!


 

Victory in Overcoming Fear of Failure?

I wish I could sit here and write to you and tell you I had this amazing victory and overcame fear and failure I Quit Everything! - Overcoming Fear of Failure 21completely, but I didn’t.

I still struggle to believe what God believes about me and it is a daily exercise in the Word to keep reminding myself of who He says I am.

If someone ignores me I automatically go to a place of “I’m not good enough”. It’s a constant struggle to give these thoughts over to God and rebuke the devil and his lies!

THEY ARE ALL LIES! 

He wants me to think that way so I will QUIT! He wants me to think that way so that I never live in the victory Jesus died to give me!

God is working in me to turn around the lies that someone spoke over me but I am not 100% there yet. I am FAR from where I was, but I am not there yet.

But daily I spend time in His Word and daily I remind myself what He says about me. Daily I go to verses that tell me about His love for me.

I am not perfect but I am not a failure either! I don’t blog to tell you how perfect my life is. Blogging is so I can share my struggles, my pain, my reality! I do this because I hope to be able to show even one person they are not alone!

Being a Christian and being a blogger doesn’t mean we have our stuff together. We just share our messes! It means we lean even more on a God who can fix our messes and, in time, help us to see ourselves the way He sees us, not the way the world sees us.

Overcoming fear of failure starts with replacing those old recordings with God’s Word!

I am not a failure!

I am not a quitter!

And grace by grace, God is helping me believe that!

 

Some other posts like “I Quit Everything – Overcoming Fear of Failure” you might enjoy: 

OVERCOMING GUILT FROM PAST MISTAKES – HOW CAN I FORGIVE MYSELF?

GUARD YOUR HEART AND MIND – WHEN THE ENEMY STRIKES

DO YOU QUESTION YOUR GIFTS AND TALENTS?

WORK OUT YOUR FAITH – BUILDING SPIRITUAL MUSCLES

WHEN SOMEONE SHOWS YOU THEIR TRUE COLORS

Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

 


 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Quit Everything! - Overcoming Fear of Failure 23

My name is Diane and I am a wife and mom, a Jewish believer in Yeshua (Jesus) and yes, a blogger. I live in BEAUTIFUL Northwestern Connecticut and when I am not blogging, you will find me spending time with my husband and kiddos…or up in my craft room designing custom tumblers, making reading pillows or quilting! I am also an avid amateur genealogist and love researching my family history!

52 Thoughts on “I Quit Everything! – Overcoming Fear of Failure”

  • I struggle with not finishing what I start…of having high hopes, great expectations, and then I fall short because, well, life with 4 littles (and one on the way), brain space, and motivation. I can beat myself up too for not finishing the “grand plans” i have. BUT GRACE! Thank God for grace to take a step each day in the right direction, even if it doesn’t equal completion! Thanks for your honesty!!

  • I can so relate to this. And on days like today, that’s about all I can say. I. Am. There. I’m not quitting, but I am a mess. And today, I don’t have much to give.

    • I am sorry Heather!! I will be praying for you. When we have nothing to give that is when He carries us through!!

  • isn’t it awful that words are so powerful. I remember so many spoken over me and i am careful not to do that to anyone, and quickly repent if slip up. Most of the time i think we can let it go, but when it’s spoken in such hatred, it lets a fear latch on. Father, in Jesus name, we cancel all these words and break their strongholds over us, let the Holy Spirit be the balm over our wounds, and give us freedom.

  • It’s easy to give up and quit rather than fail. I have always been a quitter at almost everything I start. Whenever I faced obstacles, I did not have the will power to continue on because I thought it was just too hard to continue. But one thing I’ve learned is everything in life is hard work and not to give up no matter what.

    • Exactly!! I know it is easier said than done sometimes but it really is just a matter of praying through it and moving forward!

  • Sometimes the fear of failure is even more powerful than actually failing at something! Thank you for writing about this very important topic and sharing your experience. I wish you all the best in your endeavours in the future!

  • Amazing article. I recently found myself quitting on something because I was afraid to try for it and fail. It was better to just not try at all because than I couldn’t fail. But in the end I chose not to quit and even if it doesn’t work out at least I know I tried my best.

  • I just want to say that I’m so sorry that family member treated you like that. Nobody deserves to be called a failure, let alone like that! I hope you’ve established boundaries in your life around that person in particular!

    Quitting has been a problem for me too. I always thought that I like to finish what I start, but there is an equal number of incidents where I quit as when I finish. It definitely requires grace.

    • Thank you Colleen. I have actually established boundaries and I am much happier for it!! And yes, it definitely requires grace!!

    • Jalisa it really is that simple too…not to lose sight of why you start! We just don’t think about it sometimes!

  • Thank you for being so honest and vulnerable! I think you bring out such important parts that words can make a lasting effect on people, but God is so much bigger!! Even if we aren’t fully there yet, such an amazing thing to recognize something and begin working on it! I think we can all share these struggles to some level!

  • Diane, This was beautiful. I’m a self-fulfilling prophet who often lets my fear of failure take over to make sure that I’ve failed.

  • This is such a true statement Diane: “Being a Christian and being a blogger doesn’t mean we have our stuff together. We just share our messes!” As a Christian blogger we learn to use our experiences to encourage others. Thanks for sharing.

    • Amen…that is what it is all about…letting others know they are not the only ones!! Hopefully my experiences and the experiences of all of you, my fellow bloggers, can help even one person overcome their fears!!

  • I certainly can relate to your words here. I believe many of us can. I’m am praising God with you for small victories and trusting Him for more in the future. That’s where I find myself, trusting God to help me one day at a time and asking Him to give me the courage and strength I need again tomorrow. Blessings!

  • I’m not really sure where to start…

    I guess I’ll just say this post could have been written as a biography of my life. Sure, there are a couple of differences: I got saved as a child and no one’s ever told me I wasn’t good enough (that I can remember).

    Still, I struggle with those same feelings of fear that I’m not good enough, I’m dumb, I’m a fraud that someone – one day – will spot and call me out.

    But I also KNOW those things aren’t true, because I’m not my own. I am a child of the Most High, and He calls me ‘Beloved.’ I am everything I need to be because He’s enough.

    Thank you for writing this post. It’s touched me more than I can say today. I pray you’ll feel God’s love and acceptance more and more each day in your own struggles with that old liar – fear. I’m SO glad I found your post today (at the Grace and Truth linkup). Blessings!

    • Ashley your comments really touched my heart! Thank you for sharing your own struggle…and for sharing your truth! We can rebuke the enemy’s lies with God’s truth!! We are His and therefore we are good enough!! We will have those thoughts and struggles but we CAN overcome them with His truth!! Thank you again for your comments!!

  • Diane, words have a way of stinging and staying with us for a very long time, don’t they? They even tend to define who we are. But as you’ve found the enemy is a liar. I’m so glad you’re finding freedom from his grip.

    I love what you said about Christian bloggers — we don’t have it all together but we can share our messes, mistakes and missteps all while pointing others to the One who offers grace!
    Blessings to you!

  • Hi Diane, I just want to say this post was absolutely beautiful. Whatever you do, don’t quit blogging! You have been given a gift no one can deny. Thank you for your honest transparency. I am saying a prayer for you and Christian women bloggers everywhere right now! Because we all can relate to one degree or another (the comments are proof of that).

    • Alyson your comment just made my heart so happy and was such a blessing to me today!! Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement.

  • My favorite quote from the article, “I still struggle to believe what God believes about me.” I can relate…it takes separating lies from Truth as you pointed out. So encouraging!

  • Diane this is beautiful and heartwrenching. This describes me too. I believe God is digging deeper into this area for me. He is desiring greater healing and freedom. Thank you for sharing so transparently and tenderly. I needed to hear this today. Love you!

    • Oh Desiree thank you so much and I am so glad you found it encouraging (even if a little heartwrenching)…so many of us struggle with these issues and I hoped it would help others know they are not alone! Love you sis!!

  • Oh how I needed this tonight! My whole life I’ve been told I’m a failure…and tomorrow I turn 54…
    I still can’t finish anything! I’ve been criticized for so long that it’s the only voice I hear
    anymore. So now I just don’t start anything.
    It’s too painful to become, over and over, what
    I’ve heard all my life. So I pray and try to have
    a closer walk with the Lord, but I stay to myself
    and love my family. I hope it’s enough. I hope God sees I’ve tried in this life.

    • Oh Patricia my heart breaks for you because I know all too well how you’re feeling! I know that avoidance cycle! You ARE what words say you are but they’re not peoples words…they’re God’s! You are who He says you are!! Go to the Word and write out scriptures that tell you who you are in Him and every time those old recordings play, replace them with what God says about you!! It does work but it takes time!! I’m always here if you need to talk.
      And happy birthday!!!!

  • This relative of yours sounds like they certainly have issues of their own. So awful 🙁 Things that are said to us and happen when we are young really stick even if we don’t realize it. I too have had problems finishing things and I still try and figure out why. It’s actually one of my goals for 2019 – to finish everything I start (unless of course I really don’t like it). Anyway, this is really a thought-provoking read and thank you so much for sharing your personal story.

  • I can relate and as a blogger too I know the struggle. I started blogging back in June hoping to supplement my one income family. There are so many days I feel like a failure and that I am not contributing enough around here. I refuse to give up though. I am almost 6 months in and things are getting better. I still feel like a failure most days though. It is a hard feeling to ignore and I struggle daily with these thoughts.

    • I know that feeling with regards to blogging too but don’t give up! I actually started blogging 2 years ago for about a year and I wasn’t getting anywhere. I quit for a year (not because of the blog but because we went through some major moves in our lives so I couldn’t put the time into it) and it was so hard to get it going from scratch again. But this time, it is going great! So keep at it!! I have a couple of posts on blogging that have some free courses linked! You may want to check those out because they helped me a TON! Here is one https://www.worthbeyondrubies.com/blogging-tips-for-beginners/

  • My heart hurts for you that someone could be so hurtful. Words like that cut deep to the heart and can seriously affect us forever. There is true freedom in knowing Jesus, but that doesn’t always mean it is easy. I am by nature a quitter too. I can only succeed at anything when I put my whole trust and faith in the Lord to carry me through.

  • Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me—That saying is certainly NOT true. Words do hurt and they can break your heart and your spirt. Continue to push forward, continue to pray, and continue to blog. You are Awesome!

    • Thank you Gina!! Yes I think words can be far more hurtful than broken bones. Bones heal, many times words continue to hurt

  • Thanks for sharing this and for writing about this Diane. I can completely relate to this. I am still haunted by words spoken over me from decades ago. But this doesn’t only make me want to quit before finishing, but sometimes to not even try. That’s why I can completely understand how people could bury their talents. It’s not that they choose to be that way, but that they have felt so beaten down by previous hurtful words that they wonder what’s the point of even trying. Words can have a paralysing effect on us, especially if we keep rehearsing it in our minds. We need to not only draw on God’s word and what he says about us, but also to speak some of these out in faith, even when we don’t fully believe it ourselves. God’s words can be life changing.

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