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Living With the Threat of Failure: Bishop TD Jakes

  • Broadcast in Spirituality
Rev Cate

Rev Cate


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Are You Haunted by a Fear of Failure?

Because failing is never fun, some of us choose not to risk it. But in the context of the challenges of strong living, this fear of failure becomes particularly resilient and difficult to dislodge.

All failures are not created equal. Some are fairly easy to digest, usually those where we can explain away the failure without tarnishing our self-image. It may sound a little different in kindergarten ("Hey, I wasn't ready!") than it does in the working world ("I'm afraid that's not my specialty"), but the principle is the same. When the cause of the failure seems to have nothing to do with who we really are, we can accept it.

But some failures stick in our throat and lodge there. Of this kind the most persistent and the most damaging are those times when we pick out one of our strengths, stake a claim, go all out, and yet still fail. The anguish that accompanies this kind of failure can be acute. Do you remember the scene in the film Chariots of Fire where the runner Abrahams turns to his girlfriend after losing a race for which he had prepared diligently and in a stunned whisper confesses, "I just don't think I can run any faster"?