Discouraged? Afraid? Stuck? Use these 18 Bible verses about fear of failure to anchor you in God’s Word to help you overcome shame & motivate you to succeed.
As someone who was on a weight loss journey for most of her life, I understand the fear of failure well.
Those voices whispering things like,
- You can’t do this.
- Look at how many times you’ve failed.
- There’s something wrong with you.
- Everybody else can do it. You’re the problem.
- It’s not even worth trying again.
Let me just tell you flat out, those are lies (I combat lies with these 5 steps to taking thoughts captive).
But you are absolutely capable of overcoming your fear with the power of God’s Word!
Reading the Bible verses below can help you anchor your thoughts in the Truth, help you recognize any lies you may be believing, and motivate you to move forward, doing those hard things that you’ve been avoiding out of fear.
Bible Verses on Fear of Failure
2 Timothy 1:7 – Not timid, but powerful
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
That fear you are feeling is holding you back from accomplishing great things.
The tools that God gives us – power, love, and self discipline – help move you forward while fear keeps you stuck (and sometimes even moving backward, farther away from your goals!).
It’s okay to feel afraid (let’s face it – the unknown is scary!), but don’t let that be the end of your story.
Psalm 73:26 – Remember the source of your strength
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
It’s easy to be afraid of failure when we are leaning on our own power. We certainly aren’t strong enough to face big, difficult things on our own!
But that’s the good news – we aren’t on our own!
God is the strength of your heart and your portion.
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
The hard fact of the matter is that we do fail. We make mistakes. We’re all human!
But that’s just it. We are ALL human.
If you think you are the only broken one, that’s far from the truth! We all fall short.
But God’s grace is big enough to cover all of your shortcomings and more. And His grace is sufficient.
Philippians 4:6 – Replace worry with prayer, petition, & thanksgiving
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
It’s really hard to stop worrying just by telling yourself, “Stop it!”
Instead, replace your worrying about failing with prayer, petition, and thanksgiving.
Pour out your heart to God (yup, even those messy feelings you’ve been shoving under the rug), ask Him for His help, and thank Him for what He has done, is doing, and will do in the future.
Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
That big thing you’re worried you can’t do because you’ve tried so many times before?
You can only fail if you stop trying.
And lean on this truth – you CAN do this with the strength God gives you.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust there’s more than you can see
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
As humans, we really like making sense of things. We like it when A+B=C.
So, you might think your fear of failure makes logical sense.
I’ve tried before. I’ve failed a lot. So, I should stop trying because I’ll just fail again.
That may be human logic, but that’s not God logic.
The truth is, we are only seeing the slightest little piece of the big picture.
Trust that there is more to your story that you just can’t see yet. Lean not on your own understanding.
Keep leaning into the Lord and He will guide you to success, one step at a time (even if you trip along the way!).
Jeremiah 29:11 – You have a future full of hope
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Remember that God’s plans for you are good.
You might not feel good about yourself right now, but try to see yourself through God’s eyes – your loving Father.
You were created with strengths and weaknesses for a purpose and you don’t know what all of those things are! Your job is just to keep moving forward, trusting God’s plans, holding onto His anchor of hope.
James 1:2-4 – You are maturing
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
This verse always gives me such hope because, often, I convince myself that if something feels hard, it means I should stop. That must not be the path for me.
Oh, how the opposite is true! There is purpose in trials and testing.
You are growing stronger every time you don’t give up – maturing and developing perseverance.
Hebrews 12:1-2 – Fix your eyes on Jesus, not the trial
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when we are just thinking about every detail of our past failure, seeing how hard this situation is, and imagining how easy it would be to fail again.
Where are your eyes fixed?
Move your focus from the problem to the problem-solver and your whole perspective can change!
Isaiah 41:10 – You are not alone
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Loneliness often accompanies fear.
When we feel afraid, often times, we feel alone as well, thinking we must be the only one, I’ll just bring everybody else down, they’re better off without me, I’m just too much of a screwup…
But you are NOT alone orr left to your own devices to try to figure all of this out on your own.
God is right there with you, offering you strength and help.
2 Corinthians 4:16 – Do not lose heart
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16
When we are not even willing to try because we are afraid of messing up again, that’s not proof that you aren’t capable of doing it.
It’s just a sign that you’re losing heart.
But God renews our hearts daily.
Yesterday’s failures do not define today’s success.
Proverbs 29:25 – Who are you trying to please?
Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Sometimes our fear of failure is rooted in people pleasing (I can totally relate to this one!).
Are you stuck because you’re terrified you’ll let someone else down? That what worked for them won’t work for you? That you’d rather not try at all than let someone else judge your efforts?
I get it. I’ve been there, too.
But fear of man is a snare – a trap that keeps you stuck.
Trust that when you are doing your best, working for the Lord and not for people around you, He will be faithful.
Romans 5:3-4 – Moving toward hope
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Remember how I mentioned earlier that there is purpose in your trials and testing?
Growing pains happen. Change is hard. But hard doesn’t mean bad!
Keep growing in perseverance that will grow your character that will anchor your hope.
Philippians 1:6 – He’s not done yet
…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
You were created for a purpose and God started a good work in you when He created you, but that wasn’t the end!
God is still carrying on that good work with you, growing you, changing you, using you…until the day of Christ Jesus!
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – Changing perspective
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
We all hate that we have weaknesses. It’s so frustrating to want to be good at something that we’re not!
But instead of just focusing on how frustrating it is that we can’t do it alone…we can have a perspective shift.
We’re not always very good at leaning into Jesus. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty independent spirit. I want to be able to do it myself!
But there is so much more relationship, joy, success, and satisfaction when we can lean into Christ, trusting that He is using my weakness to showcase His strength.
Your weakness does not equal failure. Because we serve a God who is able to strengthen us using those very weaknesses!
Proverbs 24:16 – Rise again
…for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,
but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.
When it feels hard, rise again.
When you’ve fallen yet again, rise again.
When it feels too big for you, rise again.
When it seems like failure is inevitable, rise again.
Lamentations 3:22-23 – We are not consumed
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
We serve an Almighty God who can push the “refresh” button every morning.
It doesn’t matter if we’ve failed once or a thousand times – His compassions never fail and His faithfulness is great.
Every single morning.
Whether you’ve had a horrible day, a terrible week, or a miserable year…”Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed.”
It’s not the end.
Lean into that compassion.
Philippians 3:13-14 – Straining toward what is ahead
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
When we are afraid of failing again, we are not straining ahead.
In fact, usually, we are back-peddling, trying to cling to what’s behind us – the safe, the comfortable, the known.
But that’s not our calling. Our calling is to keep pressing forward, pushing onward, and moving heavenward – growing in the Fruit of the Spirit daily.
Your past does not define you. Your failures do not define you.
Only Christ defines you.