Fear of Failure; Fear of Ourselves

Today I stood in the yard with my daughter while she cried and yelled, saying she would never be able to put the bad things behind her and live a life without that voice in her head that told her she wasn’t good enough, and didn’t deserve happiness. She said she doesn’t know how to succeed. She doesn’t know how to fight for what she wants. She was afraid her adult life was going to be haunted by insecurity and paralyzing fear. That is a sad thing to believe at 12 1/2 years old.

We took  a drive and had a long talk. We talked about how it was her choice to live in fear and doubt, or to rise above it to be the person I knew she could be. She said no matter how much good I told her, and no matter how good I had been to her in her lifetime, the bad always overshadowed. It was the bad she always believed. Also sad. All I could tell her was that I refused to allow her to give up on herself. I was never going to give up on her, and I’d be damned if she was going to. I told her I was not going to settle for her belittling herself or refusing to push herself to do or want better. I understand that she is a sensitive soul that can allow the bad to overshadow the good, but I was not going to stand idly by and watch her use the bad as an excuse. The flare in her eyes told me I’d hit a nerve.  I knew she would be angry with me, but in a while my words would sink in and she would understand what I was trying to tell her.

I’ve lived in doubt. I’ve failed in things because I never tried. Though my reasons were different from hers, I suffered from insecurity and a lack of faith in my own abilities. I watch her struggle and it hurts me so much. It doesn’t have to be that way. If only I could show her now that happiness is a choice. Joy is a way of life. We do not have to allow the negative things that happen to us change who we were meant to be. I try to teach her to never give that power to anyone else. Never rely on someone else for our own view of ourselves.

I want her to know she is better than that. She is better than me. She is more amazing than she can see, with limitless potential. We talked about how ADHD and Anxiety Disorder alone can rob us of so many things if we let it. They can cause us to be control freaks. There is so much in our lives that we feel we cannot control, that sometimes we can hold on too tightly to what we feel we can control. That, or we are afraid to let go, lest the ropes fray and we lose our hold. We can get an idea in our head and then obsess over it, often to the detriment of those around us. We can appear needy, desperately needing validation from others because we are unable to give it to ourselves. We often see our worth in others – in how they see us, instead of how we see ourselves.  It took me a long time to break those chains, and sometimes the shackles still threaten. I’m lucky though. I had my own set of problems growing up, but mine were vastly different than what she faces. She has the potential to flourish, especially now, if she would only allow herself to do so.

I often wonder what she will be when she decides to not let fear rule her. When she finally quiets the voice in her head that has told her she isn’t good at anything, that she is a disappointment and a failure – what will she be able to accomplish? I can only imagine, for I see the greatness within her. I see the light that shines in her soul no matter how others have tried to dampen it. When she finds it for herself, she will be unstoppable. I know this. I’ve only to keep her from getting lost along the way.

2 thoughts on “Fear of Failure; Fear of Ourselves

  1. I’m sixteen… And I have an anxiety disorder. It took me about a year now to realize that I don’t have to let fear overwhelm me. My sophomore year I did nothing but study and do homework. I strove to prove to people that my TBI has not made me dumb or incapable to be in regular classes…. So, I became fearful of the future. My report card, paper grade, worksheet grades , and so on were driving my self confidence to the ground. And with it, my ability to stay in school. I got straight A’s that year. But I completely regret it.

    All in all, if i could make it through, your daughter surely can. I still have fears that are unrealistic, but I’m still learning not to listen to them. I’m praying that she will have strength to overcome it.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment and share a bit about your struggle with anxiety disorder. I pray that things continue to go well for you. Thanks for showing young girls such as my daughter that their future can be worth fighting for!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.