Skip to content

The Lure of Passivity

May 12, 2008

Much of what is known as low motivation or laziness is better understood as hopelessness. If people believe they will fail, they have no reason to exert any effort. The pain they endure for their passivity seems relatively minor and acceptable compared to the agony of genuinely trying and failing ~  Robert S. McGee – The Search For Significance

Been thinking a lot about my book. How I still find it too easy to put it off. And why? Because I am afraid of failing. That is so selfish. It makes it about me. This isn’t about me. At least it shouldn’t be.

I commit to focusing more on my writing and being obedient to the call HE has placed on my life.

Just wanted you to know that 😉

Have you settled somewhere in life for fear of failing in the attempt?

37 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2008 3:33 pm

    I ♥ you!! I fall into that same thing, and then HE gently reminds me that it is not about me failing, it is about HIM never failing… and picture your book laying on the table in the clinics, and rehabs, and places where young girls without any hope will see it and relate to it…God will do great things and touch hearts you won’t even know about til you get to heaven, and some sweet thing will say, “Thanks for writing that book, it meant the world to me”. Tell your story girl, its all part of turning the bad to good! Go on now..get your plunder!

  2. May 12, 2008 3:42 pm


    That’s what you make me do. Smile!

    We fear failing for lack of trust. It’s human nature and a part of my flesh I battle daily…beyond the book. Even though I am not a glass half empty type of person and am pretty consistently upbeat and joyful – this is something that sits in the back of my mind… I know God is always working it out in me. He is extremely patient with me!

    Although I’m not glad you struggle with this too Darla – i am blessed to journey in this with you! I love you!

  3. May 12, 2008 3:43 pm

    This may sound simple – but a big ‘DITTO’ !

  4. Heidi permalink
    May 12, 2008 3:53 pm

    Okay… I was an emailing a friend about this today.. hmm a close friend. She told me to “relate” to people when I write. Because that was what Jesus did.

    I went for a walk shortly after the email and I was struggling with this “flesh” issue.
    In my writings I throw up GIANT walls of inferiority especially towards women. God healthy christian women.
    God dealt with me on that walk, what I need to write was How He related to me, and how I got healthy spiritually within Him. Eventhough, some of the wounds were deep of abuse and addiction, and sometimes I had seasons of shallowness, but he says go…

    go and write people will listen no matter where your life has been…………………………………just write…………………….

    Tam write would ya… I need your story!!

  5. TheNorEaster permalink
    May 12, 2008 3:54 pm

    “Have you settled somewhere in life for fear of failing in the attempt?”

    Sure have. And in much the same way you have, Tam.

    And…in my own ridiculous ways, too. Which I’m not going to discuss in a comment.

    Or a post.


    Too personal.

    And the last thing I want about it is…


  6. May 12, 2008 4:01 pm

    Yes. I am really struggling against hopelessness and fear of failure as I look for work. I used to be so confident in my abilities but lately I feel so inadequate.

    I even put off blogging sometimes for fear that someone, somewhere will think it sucks!

  7. May 12, 2008 4:03 pm

    So Papa, you’re with me too, eh? 😉

    Heidi – I’m following you here. And I commit to write. And I will write along side of you…We’re in it together friend!

    NE – No advise from me here – not qualified.

  8. May 12, 2008 4:06 pm

    GMJ – it is such ashame how easily we allow the enemy to get a foothold. Especially when he has no right or authority over us.

    We need to start living as victors!

    Maybe the key here is not to be confident in our own ability but in the God who gives us the ability. That takes our eyes off of us and onto Him…where they belong…

    Praying for you now GMJ..

  9. May 12, 2008 4:34 pm

    Tam, the fear of failure is something I have fought all my life. Sometimes fear did win. I am a fairly confident person but even now that voice of fear keeps trying to make me doubt my abilities.

    I think having doubts is very natural. Friends, or a mentor, can really help when this fear starts to keep us from achieving our goals. How well we are at overcoming fear determines to a large degree what we make of our lives.

  10. May 12, 2008 4:50 pm

    “How well we are at overcoming fear determines to a large degree what we make of our lives.”

    Well said Ed. You’re absolutely right!

    Thank you for that and sharing.

  11. May 12, 2008 5:03 pm

    Tam – I am planning to be an overcomer this month – fear, be gone!

  12. Heidi permalink
    May 12, 2008 5:33 pm

    Thank you Ed….. I didn’t like the word “determine” but oh my gosh how true it is.

    I wonder how many determinations in my life have been made because of my sell-out to fear…..

  13. Deborah permalink
    May 12, 2008 5:33 pm

    “Have you settled somewhere in life for fear of failing in the attempt?”

    Yes, everyday….This is good because God has been dealing with fear of failure alot in my life recently. Fear is so not from HIm. There are some insecurities I’ve had that hit me smack in the face this last week. It’s been tough, very tough….but God showed me it’s already done in His eyes. I just have to be faithful in stepping out….believing His purpose for me over my doubts. Tam, you can’t fail, you just can’t, it’s already set. You are a success story in Gods economy, and He is nodding His head saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. God is preparing the hearts for you to minister to, and when they are ready you need to have “you” prepared to hand them. He knew in advance your hesitancy, He knew when you would step forward…I’ve never doubted, and will continue to pray. Next time I’m in Evangel, I’ll clear a spot for you…. 😆 Love you!

  14. May 12, 2008 5:37 pm

    That is a quote that I will have to print up and keep. Thank you for sharing that. It seems like a good book.

    Intimidation (from failure) is an area I’m needing to conquer a bit more.

  15. May 12, 2008 6:19 pm

    That quote…ouch. I think I needed to read that, but I’m not sure I wanted to.

  16. May 12, 2008 6:23 pm

    never fear, mo jo is here!!!
    So, can one unleash a personal trait to overcome this cyclic fear of fearing fear? To “nip it in the bud”, as it were?
    Maybe, maybe not.
    For me…my largest fear is rejection. I actually have kept from applying to a certain ph.d. program b/c I’m afraid they’ll reject me.
    So…I have no answers, no quirky or inspiring quotes. I guess this is just my way of saying, “yeah, me too.”

  17. May 12, 2008 7:48 pm

    I tend to busy myself with a lot of other things that keep me from some of the big things that I feel like I’m supposed to be doing… most of the time I avoid the big things because I lack confidence; I’m afraid that I’ll fail.

  18. May 12, 2008 7:50 pm

    Tam, I allow the fear of failure to paralyze me almost daily!

  19. May 12, 2008 7:50 pm

    Tam–I hafta profess my undying love for you this very moment! You said exactly what I have been thinking/feeling for a while now concerning my writing.

    I have always loved to write. Last year, God gave me the title of my book and the opening chapter. Have I done anything with it since? And I think for me it’s more the fear of getting stuck and feeling unmotivated or feeling like I’m just going to find that I’m really not much of a writer after all [I’ve done short stories, poetry etc but never an actual novel].

    We have to pray for each other! The devil is a liar and he knows that God will receive all the glory in this process and he doesn’t want that. But we know that God has given us authority to trample over the enemy and that the victory already belongs to us. Stay encouraged my sister and I will be praying for you! XOX

  20. ramsey72 permalink
    May 12, 2008 7:53 pm

    I find myself in this place more times than I wish to admit. I am learning each day to trust that God has a future and a hope for me and as long as I seek to do His will then I cannot fail. I guess that is why I have yet to get married. It scares me to death and I have always been afraid that I will not only mess up my life but somebody else’s in the process. This is something that I am still trying to work through.

  21. May 12, 2008 8:01 pm

    “I commit to focusing more on my writing and being obedient to the call HE has placed on my life.”

    I LOVE You! (you DO inspire me continually)

    Just wanted you to have no ‘fear’ about that either. 🙂

    As to your question? That has pretty much been my life to date – Settling. Uncertain by reason of fear.

    Morning Tam


  22. May 12, 2008 10:21 pm

    Have you settled somewhere in life for fear of failing in the attempt?

    YES. And it makes every day a nightmare. It is possible to be a perfectionist and live in chaos….b/c if it can’t be done perfectly you don’t want to do it at all. And not doing it perfectly means you have failed. And perfectionists don’t want to fail. If you don’t attempt, you can’t fail, and in a twisted way….perfectionists settle for that. It’s a twisted twisted cycle. *sigh*

    And that quote…. AMAZING. And convicting. And irritating. And annoying. And amazing. And…TRUE.

  23. May 13, 2008 12:29 am

    way to publicize your commitment.

    sometimes, when i’m eating something i love beyond a limit that’s healthy, i’ll announce “okay, this is my last one…” and people look at me all funny like “why did you just say that out loud”.

    accountability provides motivation.

    i can’t wait to hear how much progress you make.

  24. May 13, 2008 5:08 am

    For me, fear of failure was hiding in fear of success. I was afraid of being put in a spotlight after succeeding, so I would always “shoot myself in the foot” to make sure I didn’t succeed. Because in the spot light, everyone can see your inadequacies. And Hollywood has certainly brainwashed us well into believing the very shape of our toe nails will be dissected and discussed and criticized. Like Lazarus, Jesus is calling me to come forth, and using many friends to unwrap the grave clothes. As I’ve shared before, I wrote a book 4 years ago. I had one publisher send me a contract. I backed out of it. Now I have another one that is waiting for my call back. Has been waiting for a couple of months now. I am almost brave enough to call! The biggest thing that has given me the confidence to do this lately is that God has captured my gaze and fixed it on the cross..just like Moses had the Israelites look up at the bronze serpant on a stick to see the source of their affliction up there and then the death left them as they looked upon it, I am seeing that inadequacy, failure, shame…all of the effects of sin and the curse…were up on that cross when Jesus hung on it. And the biggest thing..if they are there, they ARE NOT HERE on me! I’ve believed a lie that they were! Resurrection is what is IN ME now! The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in me! Every time I think about this, the lie gets smaller, the truth gets bigger, I get braver:) I am praying over all of us here that have allowed fear, shame, inadequacy, failure, etc. to define us…that our eyes would be open more and more everyday to see the truth…the Resurrection that is inside of us…life and only life! As HE IS, so are we in this world! He is pulling His treasures from the field…it is time to arise and shine, for His light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon us! I hear the ground cracking…I know we are ALL going to begin to arise. It’s time.

  25. May 13, 2008 6:16 am

    Dang. I went and forgot you were writing that book.

    Just know that you can’t fail in this instance. It’s your story. You own it.

  26. May 13, 2008 7:51 am

    First off Im glad you are gonna finish that thing!!

    second…I am very much passive….way too much

  27. May 13, 2008 8:10 am

    I, like you Tam, fear failure and, like Kelly, fear success. The key common element is, of course, fear. I fear failure or even being viewed as a failure. I fear success and the scrutiny that comes with “success.” I also fear what any success would do to my heart.

    Knowing what we fear is important to understanding our self. Making decisions based on fear is where I often err. So, similar to what you say in your post, my fear-based decisions are selfish.

    “Have you settled somewhere in life for fear of failing in the attempt?”
    Plenty. Among other thing, I have been *talking* about making a CD for about 3 years now.

  28. May 13, 2008 10:01 am

    I sometimes fear my whole life has been settling.

    I live in a very, very safe environment. Why?

  29. May 13, 2008 10:47 am

    I didn’t think this fear of failure was much of an issue for me until I started reading through these comments…

    Why do we ALWAYS need to be sharpened?????

  30. May 13, 2008 11:08 am

    i think these comments show we need each other. We were created for fellowship. to sharpen one another…as iron sharpen iron.

    There’s a lot of reality and authenticity going on here.

    I love it!

  31. May 13, 2008 11:37 am

    I was out walking yesterday, in honor of getting rid of my fat booty in the ministry stuff, and saw this house. It was purple. Awful purple. Barney purple. with very strange green and cream colored trim. Flowers and vines and trees and everything imaginable filled the yard. and there was a sign out front, hanging on a sign post. It said “Carefully Chosen”. And I thought of all of us. This group. There’s some purple, some green, some cream, some flowers, vines, all kinds, some strange in the in the mix too. But I knew at that moment yesterday, that we were all “Carefully Chosen”. For one another.

  32. May 13, 2008 2:23 pm

    hey kelly, I’m the polka dotted one!!!

  33. May 13, 2008 2:38 pm

    The only thing that helps me with this kind of fear is being ok with the possibility of failing. I have tried to talk myself into positive thinking which is necessary for sure(whatever is true, excellent, praiseworthy…). But for me, I had to make attempts at this, that and the other thing and be ok with Someone Else being in control of the outcome. Ick.

  34. HeatherBlankenship permalink
    May 13, 2008 4:43 pm

    ok, that is crazy… I have not had much time lately to catch up on blogging…or reading other’s blogs but I was totally thinking about you and your book this weekend. I was praying for you to find the motivation to finish the book and that He would give you the courage to do so even in the midst of fear! 🙂 So just know that the Holy Spirit had an agent on duty talking to the Father for you!

  35. May 14, 2008 10:23 am

    Man, that quote hit me…I have felt so hopeless lately. I never felt afraid to fail until I had kids, because I know if I fail, any financial repercussions no longer affect only me.
    I love the quirky fun nature of your blog…but I also enjoy your thoughts on deeper subjects. Hope to read your finished book someday soon!

  36. May 17, 2008 10:14 am

    so, i think we are sisters.
    in every possible way, well, except the family tree sort of way.

    fear of failure = scared to be a mama.

  37. May 18, 2008 1:39 pm

    WONDERFUL food for thought! Thanks, Tam! And I pray that God truly inspires you and gives you the courage to press on to finish the story He has given you to write!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: