When you’re scared of failing

Cainspirations by Kristi Cain, originally published August 6, 2021


Overcoming Darkness.

How are you overcoming the fear of failure? Let’s journey together!

For many states across the country, August means another “back to school” season. Whether this season affects us or our children, grandchildren, or other family members, its expectation hangs in the air, teeming with excitement—and anxiety.

While some of our warmest memories can spring from school days past, anticipating the many measuring sticks a school year brings can also stir up fear.

Whether it was an unfortunate incident in the cafeteria, the classroom, or the principal’s office, we all have at least one school memory we are less than fond of. And it’s all too easy to let those negative associations weigh down our confidence in the school days to come.

As a teacher worrying about my students’ behavior, test scores, home lives, and every other professional demand, I pretty much live in that anxiety cycle.

(A meme comes to mind of a woman hiding under her bed covers, saying she doesn’t want to go to school because the kids pick on her. Her husband tells her she has to go because she’s the teacher.)

But whether we are anxious about our ability to excel in school or any other venture, it’s helpful to remember the true source of success, even when the world tries to convince us we’ve failed.

A powerful illustration of the best way to measure success comes from an ancient Middle Eastern story.

Hundreds of years ago, a young man was raised in the palace of a wealthy, powerful kingdom—the greatest of that day and time.

But this man was not a prince. In fact, he was born into a race of foreign slaves.

Early in life, fate had smiled on him, giving him a miraculous chance to capture the princess’s attention. After that, he was adopted into the royal family.

He was educated and surrounded by a world of palace privilege but would have been hard-pressed to feel accepted within it. He was from a race of slaves, and everyone knew it.

At best, he could hope to be treated as an amusing pet. And it would have been all too easy for him to be treated far worse. Even the palace servants were from a “superior” race, and he would have had few defenders if anyone mistreated him.

And if he did meet any of his brethren in bondage they would have seen him as a sell-out and a traitor.

To make matters worse, he was afflicted by a debilitating stutter making him a target for anything except intellectual encouragement.

As an adult, he wrestled with anger at an elite society that reeked of injustice.

By the time his adopted siblings were taking on the mantle of ruling one of the world’s greatest kingdoms, he embarked on his destiny by losing his temper, beating someone to death, and becoming a fugitive of the law.

An inferior outcome for an inferior man.

Except the man happened to be Moses, and his destiny had only begun.

So, whether you are worried about success at school or success with any of the boxes we try to fit ourselves into, let’s remember who holds our future even when the world tells us we don’t have one.

And whenever we look to our neighbors, let’s remember to see them as God does. Because the excluded ones, the disabled ones, and the troubled ones may wind up being the very same ones who lead us to the promised land.

And most of all, let’s remember to pray and thank God for one another.

Pray for our life-saving rescuers, who provide for, sustain, and heal us.

Pray for our protecting rescuers, who watch over us.

Pray for our compassionate rescuers, who love and include us.

Pray for our leading rescuers, who guide and teach us.

Pray for our spiritual rescuers, who believe in us.

Don’t know what kind of rescuer you are? Find out with my “Discover Your Destiny” Quiz!


Don’t make me do all the talking – I’d love to hear from you!

  • What are some ways God has helped you defy worldly standards of success?
  • What concerns or inspires you the most about the coming school year?
  • Do you want to hear about anything else? Any prayer requests?

Just shoot me an email – don’t be shy! And I promise to reply!


Check out these awesome photos from readers like you!

PHOTO CREDITS (top to bottom, left to right): Hiwassee River Haze by Jaimee Chrisman, Polk County, TN; St. Augustine Sunrise by Missy Wolford, St. Augustine, FL; Smooth Sailing by Tina Cole, Clearwater Beach, FL

Want to share your “Beauty in Today” picture or inspirational musings? Shoot me an email and you just might be featured in my next issue!

Thanks for visiting with us today! I hope I’ve helped you feel encouraged! – Kristi

Want to join my Cainspirations family of heroes? Click here!

Work looks a lot like play for Kristi Cain and includes freelance writing for Crosswalk, inspirational blogging, writing fantastical stories of Christian fiction, teaching English to teens, and being able to say, “I’m a former journalist.” Home is nestled in the Smoky Mountain foothills with her husband and teenage children. If you ever want a little encouragement in your day, check out her newsletter. Hop over to her website for her latest happenings and join her Facebook group, a fun, faith-based community.

Cain’s life experiences and faith journey have lent her the lens through which she shapes stories of unlocking the light of destiny out of darkness. Through her writing, she hopes to encourage people to understand that the difficult places in life can be the very ingredients that shape the greatest destinies.

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Published by Author Kristi Cain

Author - Teacher - Encourager Kristi is a wife, mother, inspirational blogger, Crosswalk contributor, and crafter of fantastical stories of Christian fiction.

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