You know that thing when I tell people I love to start things and then get bored and quit? I mentioned this fun little personality quirk in my recent conversation with Angie Elkins if you wonder more about it.
Anyway … I had this fleeting thought recently (or maybe it was almost every day for the past month) — Can I quit this book launch thing? Not because it’s not fun anymore (which is the normal reason I want to quit things) but because of something far more ominous for overachievers and/or perfectionists —
WHAT IF I FAIL?!!?
You think I’m kidding, right?
What If I Fail?
When Casiday was a baby and we would meet new people Scott’s mom would ask me, “Well, were they appropriately impressed?”
I mean, right, of course? Because she was the most perfect and beautiful and amazing little creation ever and if people couldn’t see that at first glance OBVIOUSLY there was something wrong with them. (Yeah, she was the first grandchild. How’d you know?)
It sort of seems silly now that we actually had that conversation (and a little embarrassing how often we had and how serious we were). But, lately, I’ve sort of felt the same way about something else happening in my life.
A lot of my author/writing friends have likened releasing a book to having a baby. I’ll be honest, I thought that was a little over-the-top. Until now. Now, I totally get it … because it is the scariest thing I’ve done since February 17, 2000 when I pushed eight pounds of little girl out of my body. (TMI? Sorry. It’s the stress talking.)
We’re one week from launch.
And I’m freaking out. Seriously. FREAKING OUT.
Because here’s the thing — what if no one is appropriately impressed with my new baby?
I wrote this book because praying Scripture changed me and I believe it can change you too. But honestly, that crazy committee in my head keeps saying, “What if you fail? What if no one likes the book? What if they think it’s terrible?”
Do you ever feel that way? Does fear of failing cripple or even paralyze you sometimes?
(Please say yes … I hate thinking I’m the only one.)
I imagine I’m not totally alone in this. And while your fear may not be about releasing a book, it’s possible that you’ve been afraid of failing in any number of other areas in your life.
Okay, so maybe the last one is just me. But y’all, this fear of failing thing can seep into every part of our lives right?
But I’ve got some good news and an important reminder for me and for you—
Our job is obedience not results!
Stop for a minute and let that one sink in.
Our job is obedience, not results. God has called us to come and abide and follow. That’s it.
And as we do those things, our desire is that we point others toward Him, right? Because, y’all, let me promise you this — if you’re watching me and placing your hope in me, it’s going to be painful for both of us. But if your sight is set on Him, if He’s your focus and your priority, you will not be disappointed.
When my chest feels tight and my brain is spinning and my heart is twisted in knots, I know I’m letting fear have the upper hand. It’s my cue to shift my eyes from me and what I’m doing to Christ and what He’s already done!
See, the book’s success or failure isn’t measured by copies sold or 5-star reviews on Amazon — it’s this:
Did I stay close the Lord? Did I write what He’s taught me? Did I point to Him?
Because I didn’t, it won’t matter how well Praying for Girls does, I will have failed at what really matters. But if I did, it won’t matter how well Praying for Girls does, because I will have been faithful to the One who called me — and that is always the success I’m after.
How do you deal with the fear of failing? What is God showing you about true success?