Fighting Failure / Finding anchors
So… I’ve not so low key been battling fear and inadequacy for a few months now, primarily due to some career opportunities not panning out the way I wanted them to. But thanks to my awesome tribe (God, hubby, family, friends, church family, work besties, coaches, mentors, etc.) I was continually reminded that unsuccessful work outcomes do not equal me being a failure. Although, it’s hard to shake that feeling at times. Rejection never feels good.
Anyways, I found myself knowing the truth and being reminded of it, yet still having that underlying feeling of general inadequacy, especially after also having to go on sick leave after my body ended up shutting down because of the stress of it all. I’m not one to throw a pity party but I realised I was enjoying mine too much. It felt good feeling sorry for myself… until I saw it for what it was and I couldn’t stand it anymore.
I decided to start focusing on the things I could control and knew would make a difference in how I was feeling even if my circumstances didn’t change.
In counselling, I refer to it as finding your anchors. These were my 5 anchors:
1. Fuel your faith
I was having internal dialogues fuelled by nonsense or part truths, not by the eternal Words of my Creator and the Author and Finisher of my faith who has given me everything pertaining to life and godliness. I had to change the source of my dialogues so I started reading my Bible more, as faith comes by hearing the Word (cp. Romans 10:17). I had to start being serious about prophesying my purpose to myself and meditating on what matters.
2. War through worship
Worship is an expression of our faith and loyalty. Whenever we worship God we state that we’re not interested in partnering with fear and that declaration is a weapon of warfare in itself. For me, worship also feels like a little less effort than reading the Bible at times (just being honest here), as I can play a song and sing along even just in my morning commute. We can cut through the fog of failure with worship, reminding ourselves that whose we are is greater than how we feel. And He has an infinitely more positive view of us than we most often do.
3. Let Love Loose
When battling fear and inadequacy we can become completely absorbed in our own little, failing cosmos. But when we shift our focus to loving and blessing others, it adds value to another person’s life and improves our mood. I realised I felt most confident and comfortable in my skin in my counselling sessions where I was focusing on supporting my clients or when managing my team.
4. Stir up your spiritual gifts
Now this one I only came across towards the end of my pity season. Similar to loving others this step requires us to focus on what we bring to the table to serve others.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 actually makes it very clear stating our spiritual gifts are to conquer fear. As we stir up our gifts, we build power, love and a sound mind in us. The exercising of our gifts should anchor us in a sense of authority, compassion and maturity, all great counters to fighting failure. If you are unsure what your spiritual gifts are, there are plenty tests out there, but I recommend you read the Scripture sources from Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4 and 1 Peter 4.
5. Go with grace
Ultimately, we need to trust God and allow His all sufficient grace to guide us in our weaknesses. I can be such a striver, thinking that if I don’t time things properly or schedule things right, everything will fall apart.
He is sovereign and His grace is sufficient. His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses (cp. 2 Corinthians 12:9). His grace is both a comfort when we are hurting as well as a catalyst propelling us towards our purpose.
If you are struggling to receive God’s grace, ask Him to reveal to you what is blocking you from accepting it and to give you the faith to receive it.
My work situation hasn’t changed much, but my attitude has.
I still have moments when the sense of failure becomes all too overwhelming and familiar and wants to attach itself to me. But I see it as a challenge to overcome now, not as an intrinsic part of my identity I just surrender to.
I hope this post has encouraged you to go find your anchors or reminded you to strengthen them. You might feel like you’re on top of the world right now, but it requires intention and effort to stay there. Don’t be like me and wait until you’re already fighting failure to then remember your anchors. Be that person who does their spiritual MOT before crisis hits – trust me, it’s way less stressful and messy.