Kick Your Fear of Failure Once And For All

don't fear failure

The fear of failure is something we can all relate to. It can stop us from reaching our greatest creative potential and stifle our dreams. And if we let it conquer us, we can end up looking back on our life with a pain greater than that of any failure we could encounter.

I have found one thing that has helped me to kick the fear of failure once and for all, and I hope it helps you do the same.

Have you felt the sting of failure before? I have. It’s not fun, and seldom pretty. I’ve failed more times than I can remember. But I continue to push through those failures because there is something I fear more than failure. In fact, this one thing scares the crap out of me.

The thing I fear more than anything else, and you should too, is looking back on my life and seeing that I was only successful at things that didn’t matter.

You Were Created to Matter

Can you imagine looking back on your entire life and thinking to yourself, “I wish I had played it safer.” I don’t think so. And if you do end up thinking that, the nearest person should punch you right in the stomach.

You have passions rooted deeply to the core of who you were created to be. There are things that bother you, that compel you to act. There are things that light you up inside and make you feel alive.

These passions carry with them the greatest significance, and they also carry with them the greatest risk. They will expose you and make you vulnerable. They will rip your heart out and push you to the very edge of sanity.

And it will be worth every second. You must risk it.

Turn Failure On It’s Head

Michael Jordan has missed more shots, lost more games, and let more people down than you or I ever have. Because of that, he’s inspired millions.

Walt Disney’s first animation studio went bankrupt in a year. How did he respond? He moved to California to try again. I’m glad he did.

When Thomas Edison’s first attempt at creating the light bulb failed, he tried again. His second attempt failed also. His third, fourth, fifth attempt– all failures. You’d think by the time he got to his 9,999th failed attempt in creating a light bulb the guy would go, “Okay, maybe this whole light bulb thing isn’t my deal.”

Nope, good ol’ Tom pushed for one more attempt and on his 10,000th try he failed again. Then, after 10,000 failures, he finally got it to work.

Because he refused to let failure slow him down, the lightbulb is now one of the most significant inventions of all time.

“I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas Edison

In Craig Groeschel’s talk from R12, he talked a lot about failure. In fact, Craig insists that failure is a necessity! Don’t believe me? Read my notes here. His formula is this:

Try, learn, fail, adjust. Repeat.

Failing should not be an end point, but a catalyst for getting better. Keep moving forward.

Coming Full Circle

Take the risk and pursue things that matter most. Don’t waste your time becoming successful at things that don’t really matter. The following quote is what inspired me to kick the fear of failure once and for all:

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding in life at things that don’t really matter.” -Francis Chan (Crazy Love)

As a reminder, I’ve created a set of wallpapers that you can download free and use as you wish. Let them be a reminder that you are created to matter, and to not fear failure. Pursue the things that matter.

You can see them in the gallery at the bottom.

If you appreciated this post, I would love it if you shared it with others via the social share buttons below. You never know who might need to hear this message at the right time to give them the kick they’ve been waiting for.

I’d also love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Tell me what the fear of failure has been holding you back from– what’s the one thing you’ve been thinking about starting that you’ve just haven’t yet?

Dustin W. Stout Avatar

11 responses to “Kick Your Fear of Failure Once And For All”

  1. Byron Avatar

    This is a great post. I love that quote from Chan. Very thoughtful D. Play the game to change the game! Interesting note: MJ’s competitiveness comes from him seeing his sport as art. This mindset is very common among great athletes and entrepreneurs. Their drive to create something that no one has ever seen or experienced before allows them to see failure differently than those who don’t see their life expression as art. I choose to believe this drive to create comes from being “created” in the image of the ultimate creator Himself. The more we embrace who we are in Christ the more we will desire to express our life as art, insuring that what we “DO” will be something that truly matters!

  2. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    You’re welcome Nathan! Yea, Crazy Love is one of my favorite of his books. I’ve never read a book so encouraging yet at the same time makes me feel like a horrible Christian! lol

    Have you read any of his other books?

  3. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    You’re welcome Sue! The Michael Jordan video had a similar effect on me as your Beth Moore video lol, of couse with less of a spiritual influence.

  4. Nathan Roten Avatar
    Nathan Roten


    Spot on brother! I used the very same Thomas Edison quote on my blog as well. Taking steps to fulfill either your passions is one of the most gut-wrenching things we can ever do. It was for me.

    Thanks for sharing the quote from Francis Chan, and for the awesome wallpapers! I am a huge fan of Crazy Love. He is so down to earth and realistic in it.

    Thanks for the dose of inspiration!

  5. Sue Miley Avatar

    I was watching a Beth Moore bible study video on Esther a couple of years ago. She (Beth) made the comment that if we let fear keep us from stepping out and doing what we know is right we may miss God’s best plan for our life. (paraphrased -don’t remember the exact words.) That has haunted me and inspired me for the past few years to keep going regardless of fear and to be more apt to step outside of my comfort zone to pursue the things God has put on my heart. This was another great reminder. I totally love the Michael Jordan video! Thanks for the inspiration Dustin.

  6. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Saw it! Responded! #yourock

  7. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Yes! Exactly right Paul, Paul! 😉

  8. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Ohh, that’s a good one! Thanks for sharing Chris!

  9. Chris Norris Avatar
    Chris Norris

    Dustin-great post. I love what Steven Furtick said: “Sometimes our greatest setbacks are the greatest setups to see God’s glory in places we didn’t even know to look.”

  10. Paul Clifford (@PaulAlanClif) Avatar

    I couldn’t agree more. That’s what I was trying to get at with this video ( Nothing great was ever done without risk.

    Here’s the funny thing. People don’t do what really want to because they fear they’ll fail, but if you don’t do it, you’ve already failed.

    I just want to grab them by the collar and say, “Quit telling yourself ‘I could have done it if I really wanted to.’ Prove it. Do it. That’s the only way to change things.”

    Keep up the good work dustn.



  11. Chuck Cortes Avatar
    Chuck Cortes

    See my comment on your Google+ post. :+D

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