Fear of Failure, Fear of Success

There’s no need to fear repentance.

"Fear can keep us from doing what we need to do to change our lives." -David A. Edwards

photo by jeremy bishop

We all need to repent. But sometimes we don’t repent, even when we know we should. Why is that? In “7 Things We Fear about Repentance: And Why We Shouldn’t,” an article published in the Liahona and New Era, David A. Edwards suggests that one reason might be fear. In his article, Edwards lists seven fears that we might have. The last two fears are particularly important.

The sixth fear about repentance is the fear of failure. Edwards notes that sometimes we’ve “tried to change so many times but keep making the same mistakes.” For example, we’re probably all guilty of arguing with our family many, many times. We’re probably not going to stop arguing with them on occasion, but no matter how many times we argue with them or do any other sort of wrong, no one is “beyond the bounds of His Atonement, because it has no bounds.” So all we can do is keep trying.

Surprisingly, the seventh fear about repentance is the fear of success. When we fear success in repenting, we may worry about getting more responsibilities, or we may not want additional responsibilities that may come with repentance. “But Heavenly Father’s plan is one of improvement and progress,” says Edwards. To progress, we need to repent so we are not stuck in the sins of our past. At times it can be hard to see, but when we repent we can “try to see the kind of person Heavenly Father wants [us] to become and the kind of life He wants [us] to have.” Repentance helps us to become our best selves, and once we have become closer to our best selves, we can look back and see that our fear of success was rather silly.

Admitting we have sinned can be difficult and frightening. Yet we must all strive to overcome the fears that may arise when facing repentance.

To discover the first five fears about repentance, read David A. Edwards’s “7 Things We Fear about Repentance: And Why We Shouldn’t” in the Liahona or the New Era.

Sources: Liahona and New Era

—Monica Allen, Mormon Insights

feature image by naassom azevedo

Find more insights

Read more about repentance in Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk “Repent . . . That I May Heal You.”

Read or watch President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “The Will Within” to learn more about overcoming challenges, including repenting.

Watch this LDS Bible video to see how godly sorrow leads to repentance.

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