Success isn’t about outcome; it’s about obedience.

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

I’m doing a final review of a project when an unexpected wave of fear sweeps over me. I suddenly remember (as all artists do at some point) that the work I have completed in the quiet will soon be seen by a crowd.

I’m not alone in that feeling. The accountant who must present her spreadsheets in a meeting knows it. The mom whose child is launching into the world understands it. The runner who trains on the back roads and then takes her place at the starting line battles it.

And in those moments we all want assurance of success.

I began to ask, “How can I make sure this goes well?” And a verse from Proverbs popped into my mind: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” {Prov. 16:3} I paused and considered the words. Was this a guarantee from God that everything would go the way I’d like? Life experience and the rest of His Word would seem to tell me otherwise.

Slowly I began to see the true meaning: Success isn’t about outcome; it’s about obedience.

The “success” this verse talks about is set in motion not when the results are in but as soon as we say, “God, I give this to You.” He thinks differently than we do. To Him, every obedient “yes” is already a success.

I’ll confess a part of me wishes that verse meant what I want will always happen, too. But when I look back over my life I realize there have been many times when what I thought would be best would actually have been a mess.

And the real relief is that when I commit something to God, I no longer have to carry it. I don’t bear the weight of the expectations, fears and pressure. I can faithfully do what He’s asked and know He will take care of the rest. Whew.

I return to my project and the familiar fear fades with this realization: Who I’m turning this over to matters more than how it all turns out.

God’s got this. He’s got me too. And whatever happens next, in His eyes it will be a success.

Holley Gerth

P.S. This blog post was inspired by my book You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect. If the words resonated with you, I’d love to encourage you to click over to learn more about the book — especially this month, as we’re talking and thinking about love with Valentine’s Day coming up.

P.P.S. Yesterday, my friend Kim’s book released! I was happy and honored to provide this endorsement for An Imperfect Women: Letting Go of the Need to Have It All Together: “As someone who has struggled with perfectionism and anxiety for most of my life, Kim Hyland’s words are life and breath and freedom to me. This is a message every woman needs to hear–not just once but many times.”


Right now, we’re doing a special link-up series to celebrate Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely. You’re a fiercehearted woman so I’m asking you to pour out a little love and courage with your words every Wednesday {the link-up goes live at 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post, especially if it’s about living fully and loving bravely, and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to to see all the fun and join in too.

When you link up your post, take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the one that’s linked up just before yours. Thanks, friends!

I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth!

{click to tweet that you’re joining me here today}

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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