Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fear of Failure.

    "Living your life terrified of failure and fearful of being a disappointment to the ones you love, is not living at all."  

    Years ago, my Daddy bought me a key chain that he said reminded him of me. "Go-4-it". I supposed I have always "gone for it"....but rarely without weighing the consequences it would have on others. On the surface, I live my life "care free", but deep within there has been that fear that I am going to "mess up" beyond repair. That I will finally disappoint the people I deeply love to the point that they will no longer love me back. Through the years (and through countless college psychology courses!) I have tried to find out what this fear stems from. I've got plenty of "theories".....but I still haven't found a way to correct the issue. 
    In one of my religion classes, back in the day at "Southeastern", I read a book about how individuals view God differently. The book suggested that we each view God the way we view our "authority figures"-mainly earthly fathers and often mothers. If a person has a loving relationship with their mother/father, if they feel safe and supported, then odds are they will view God as a loving Father who protects and provides. What happens when a person grows up being mistreated or abused? They may view God as a dictator who is just waiting for them to "mess up" so He can strike them down! Honestly, that is how I used to view God....NOT because I came out of an abusive home (I didn't!)....but I think because the stress I put on myself to "preform" to a certain standard. I felt like if I didn't, then I would be "punished" by God.  Let me make one thing clear, THIS is not what I mean when I speak about my fear of disappointing people I love. That kind of fear is a fear of consequences, the kind of fear I feel is not a fear of punishment or anger, but a deep despair that I will lose the love and approval of  the people I care about.
      Here is an example, in May, I went on a cruise. I had just completed my first college degree and I was in crisis-with my marriage and with my family. Up until I left for my cruise, I had been able to "keep it together" fairly well, but only because I HAD to, so I could finish my degree! Once I stepped foot on that ship, I felt an immediate decompression to the point where I could literally feel the pressure release in my BODY. That week, I let "loose". I never drank a drop of alcohol, but got accused of being wasted everywhere I went-THAT is how much I let loose! :) I had so much fun and I left my worries on the shore!  One night, when the waiters/waitresses were preforming (as they did every night at dinner), our waiter asked me to come up and dance with all the waiters/waitresses. I did (after motto is "go for it"!). I never touched anyone and it never crossed my mind that it could be considered inappropriate in any way...........but, after seeing the video on facebook, someone I deeply love was very disappointed in me. (BTW-it was NOT my husband! He saw the video and said he didn't think there was anything wrong with it.....and I honestly wouldn't have thought twice about doing it if my husband was sitting at the table with me!). It crushed me, devastated me that this person that I loved so deeply now viewed me in a different light....over something that was so "innocent" in my mind.  That is the kind of disappointment that I fear most.
     The problem with living with this fear that I have is that, no matter what I do, and no matter what I don't do, I am always going to find someone is disagrees with my choices.  So, sometimes, when you "GO-4-it!" you win...sometimes when you "Go-4-it", you lose.....and sometimes when you lose, you lose miserably. I am gonna make mistakes-it is a promise. I just need to learn to disassociate approval and love. I may not earn your "approval" when I make decisions (esp with my "go for it" attitude!), but I pray I never lose your love.


  1. Wow - I can so totally relate to this blog. I've gone through so much this past year, and felt like giving up so many times, but something keeps pushing me forward, even when I've been afraid to go on. Shannon

  2. Shannon-I am sorry to hear you are having a rough time. When things get hard and you feel like giving up, always remember there is someone who will never "leave you nor forsake you" Hebrews 13:5 Thankfully, we always have a safe place to run! I will add you to my prayers Shannon! -Sherri McCann