By Andrea Boeshaar
In my book My Heart Belongs in The Shenandoah Valley: Lily’s Dilemma, I address atychiphobia or the fear of failure. One of my two main characters, Mac Albright, is terrified to fail. For him, it’s not an option. He intends to prove that he’s not the “ne’er-do-well” that Alexandria, Virginia’s elite have come to believe. He wants to make his family proud. Mac’s entire motivation hinges on his success in the Shenandoah Valley and that success is bolted to his being with spite. When his future goes up in flames, Mac can barely cope.
We all suffer from atychiphobia now and again. However, when it begins to affect our personal lives it’s a problem. With the national 2017 ACFW Conference looming on the horizon, many writers might be struggling with atyciphobia right now. In researching my novel, I learned fear can be a result of many things.
- You’re surrounded by critical or unsupportive people
- You experienced a traumatic event and now associate it with some forms of success
- You’re stuck in the mire of self-sabotage which is keeping you from succeeding. To keep yourself there, you:
- Don’t follow through with certain projects
- You’re undependable
When plagued by the fear of failure we must first force ourselves to define its meaning in our lives. What does failure look like? Is it the manuscript that’s never published? The book that gets published but then bombs? Years without a promotion at your job and going years without recognition? Remember, fear comes in many shapes and sizes. A new mom might be frightened that she won’t be the parent she longs to become. The college grad might harbor a fear of not attaining the high-paying position he’s hoped for as he struggled his way through school.
Psychologists agree: Facing the specific fear by imagining the worst and then creating a “Plan B” for your life is the first step to overcoming atychiphobia. Therefore, the second thing we must do is figure out what we would do if the worst occurs. It’s a frightening road, but once travelled, the fear amazingly doesn’t seem so scary anymore.
It bears repeating: We all experience failure (or the fear of failure) in our lives. However, when you get down to it, failure is merely a matter of perspective. For the Christian, the failures we experience are meant to shine the light of God’s grace on our lives and to teach us how to become more like Jesus Christ.
Accepting God’s will for our lives is actually the key to success. It unlocks the chains of atychiphobia and sets its prisoners free.
So when you think of the upcoming ACFW Conference you can do so with a sense of calm and excitement, but not fear. When two or more are gathered in Christ’s name, He is there among them and I can guarantee there will be far more than just two Christians at the conference. Jesus is there, directing and initiating divine appointments. He’ll be there comforting those who need prayer, soothing troubled souls, and orchestrating miracles.
Therefore, beloved, fear no more!
Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar is a Wisconsin native and the author of over 40 books with ONE MILLION COPIES SOLD! The three components in all of her stories are faith, family, and forever relationships. In addition to novels, she blogs and writes devotionals and magazine articles with the hope of encouraging readers wherever they are in their spiritual journeys. Her latest historical series is My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily’s Dilemma (Barbour Publishing). Find Andrea on the web: www.AndreaBoeshaar.com, on Twitter: @AndreaBoeshaar and on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/Andrea.Boeshaar.