Overcoming 10 Common Leadership Fears


Audio # 4 - The Fear of Failure

There are no short cuts. Great leaders are defined by navigating through failure, not bypassing it.

Today we're talking about the Fear of Failure and how to flip it on its head.

Will you fail sometimes? Absolutely! Does everyone fail? Yep. Great leaders are defined by navigating through failure, not bypassing it. So what’s short-circuiting your leadership breakthrough?

Fear can block your breakthrough. A little bit of fear keeps us safe. Without a healthy, God-given fear we could bankrupt a profitable business, cost people their jobs, or even cost people their lives through recklessness.

Being cautious and safe is one thing. Being afraid to make a mistake is called the Fear of Failure. It can hold you back.

At the core of your Fear of Failure you might find:

  • Perfectionism: you're afraid of making any mistakes whatsoever.
  • Lack of Confidence: you're afraid of being seen as an unfit leader by your team.
  • False identity: you feel YOU are a failure because you associate your results with your identity.
  • Anxiety: you worry about controlling every possible outcome and it’s weakening your Faith.
  • Unworthiness: you're operating with an incomplete acceptance of your full Victory in Christ.

Know the Difference Between Failure And Training

Making mistakes is a natural part of training. As you train to master a new skill you make mistakes. Expertise comes from experience. The highest value experiences you can have are making mistakes as you're training. You must train to navigate past mistakes. Navigating failure to success is the definition of leadership.

Believe That Failure Does Not Equal Weakness

Failure is not weakness. The stigma that failure is weakness has a tendency to be exceptionally magnified in our businesses, even in the Church. If you want a breakthrough this is one concept that MUST GO.

Break Free From Worry

Living with the Fear of Failure is equal to living in a state of worry. Worry is rebellion. Worry is not faith. The Fear of Failure is faithless rebellion. Our leadership results will be severely limited without faith and obedience to God.

Have A Spirit-Led Faith To Overcome Fear of Failure

Think about the area you are afraid to fail in right now. Is your Fear of Failure paranoia and lack of faith, or Truth? The bible says we are to Test the Spirits. To know the Truth we must filter our fears through scripture.

1 John 4:1 says, “Dear Friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.”

Accept That Your Failure Was, And Always Will Be Redefined By The Cross

Once our failure is redefined by Jesus, there is no condemnation. With this perspective, how can you ever truly fail? This is what it means to be a part of The Breakthrough Leadership Movement. Even our failures will be used for our good and God's purpose. God builds His Kingdom through our failures. Any mistakes you make will be used for God’s miracle when you seek His Presence daily. Every mistake, every failure, and every shattered piece of your life will have a purpose through God's Presence.

View the complete Audio Library for the more in our series, 10 Common Leadership Fears


1. Decouple failure from your identity. Are you afraid to fail because it means you're a failure as a person? Failure is not WHO YOU ARE. It’s an outcome, not an identity.

2. Envision failing as a pathway to success. Are you failing or are you in TRAINING? Getting it right the first time out doesn’t happen often.

3. Admit failure quickly. Whenever you admit mistakes quickly you learn from them. When you delay admission of a wrong decision, you narrow your options to course correct.

I’d love to hear your comments on the Fear of Failure.

2 responses to “Fear of Failure – Leadership Fear #4”

  1. Tony Fightmaster says:

    Perspective on what failure definitely impacts performance. I remember experiencing a brand new freedom as a college athlete when my ultimate goal was clarified. A little booklet by Fellowship of Christian Athletes entitled “Total Release” freed me from the traditional fear of losing in my collegiate wrestling matches and on the mound in baseball by helping me realize that “my win” was to just bring honor and glory to God….. Col. 3:23, Col. 3:17, and Cor. 10:31…. following the advice of the Apostle Paul freed me to perform ultimately at a higher level. My motives were pure and the results took a quantum leap forward.

    • These are fantastic insights, Tony! You mentioned being “freed” from fear. That’s the goal. It’s not that we won’t experience fear. That’s a natural human emotion. But, we don’t want to accept fear and allow it to define our beliefs. Thank you for your words of encouragement!

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