Do You Have FOMU (Fear of Messing Up)?

Keri L. Willis

Hi Friends, I was planning a whole different post today, but this message is timely for me, and I hope it can be an encouragement to you as well. I will be back to my Splendor and Majesty series post haste! Thanks for being here with me. If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

Do you have FOMU? We all know about FOMO, fear of missing out, but how does FOMU impact your work, your ministry, your productivity, and your joy? I am talking about the FEAR OF MESSING UP. 

One of my greatest stressors is the feeling that if I do something wrong, everybody will know what a fake or fool I am. I have a stinkin master’s in education. How on earth can I use the word thrown when I mean throne or profit when I mean prophet?! (I could bore you or boar you with the details of how, but not today.) And don’t even get me started on the missing or over use of commas.

As I was contemplating an upcoming event, the FOMU started overtaking my thoughts. Then defeat inched in, disabling my forward momentum. Sometimes that inner critic saves us from embarrassing ourselves, but sometimes is keeps us from being fruitful, fulfilled and successful. If we never step out in faith, with courage, we are not only robbing ourselves of the blessing of a job well done, but we are robbing those around us from benefiting from our wisdom, knowledge, or creativity, or even our mistakes. 

Pay careful attention to your own work, 

for then you will get the satisfaction 

of a job well done, 

and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 

For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Galatians 6:4-6

We know David as “A Man After God’s Own Heart.” We also know him as one of the biggest blunderers who ever lived. I am not saying to go ahead and send someone into battle and then steal their wife. But I am trying to communicate that we cannot let the fear of messing up paralyze us, because even as much as we blunder, God’s grace is more. We can blow it big time, but He can make a masterpiece of our mess. Not because of David’s disastrous choices, but because of his contrite and repentant heart, we see how to have a blessed life and beautiful walk with God. 

What if David feared Goliath to the point of not going to the battlefield? What if he feared the lion or the bear? What if, when he was confronted with his sin, he refused to be humbled and corrected? What if he did not face his fear while hiding from Saul? He would have never written “Where does my help come from? It comes from the Maker of the heavens and the earth.” (Psalm 121) We wouldn’t have the example that says, “against you only have I sinned.” (Psalm 51) We would not have the comforting words of so many of the Psalms.  

I have FOMU. I worry too much about what people will think, how they will perceive me or do they “get me.” I fear messing up. However, I cannot let that stop me from speaking or writing the messages that the Lord puts on my heart. Oh, it would be so much easier to keep my faults all to myself and never risk putting my oops on display. That is just what the Enemy wants… to silence me. I worry about spelling a word wrong or mispronouncing it, when I should be more concerned about serving those who need the Living Water. 

Go ahead and edit; check your work; proofread; use the best keywords, phrases, and hashtags; make memorable taglines and headlines. (I pray God edits my thoughts, my words, and my mouth every day!) But please don’t let FOMU keep you from sharing your heart, God’s word, or using the gifts and creativity that He has put in you.  

I will bless the Lord who guides me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. 
    My body rests in safety. Psalms 16:7-9

My name is Keri Willis. I am a semi-retired educator. I spent a great deal of my career working with adults with developmental disabilities and many years in elementary education, in the classroom and as an administrator. My main ministry now is coordinating the women’s ministry for our church in San Diego, CA. I have been married thirty-four years and have two grown and married children. I now have a head of full grey hair and good ideas.
I believe we are created to use our gifts and to be creative. That comes in many forms for me. I love to woodwork and use power tools, design, decorate, garden, and create new recipes. And I love to write. One major lesson I have learned in my writing journey is that I need to be still and listen to hear God’s voice before I am prepared to put into words the message he has instilled in my heart. This has been much easier since I am no longer working full time, but it is so easy to get distracted and not listen, which almost always ends with an empty page in the form of writer’s block.
While I have written many articles for newsletters and local newspapers, I did not consider myself a writer until I self-published my first book, Teapots and Power Tools.…/dp/1466458763/ref=sr_1_3…
The idea emerged as I was working on a project in my garage. I had worship music playing, power tools out and saw dust flying. I glanced up and saw my delicate teapot sitting on my router table. The message was clear. Sometimes we are using the power tools God gives us and sometimes he just wants us to be still and have tea with him. The book became the foundation for a women’s retreat, and then my amazing niece helped me work through publishing it on Create Space (now KDP).
At least five other projects are in different stages of production. I joined hope*writers to help motivate me and keep me focused and accountable. I am still trying to figure out the whole website and blog thing. That is my next goal for myself; that and finish writing at least one of my projects!
Teapots and Power Tools: Effectively using the tools God has equipped you with, while taking time to “Be Still and Know That He is God”
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Used with permission from Keri L. Willis.

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