Fear of Failure

I’m afraid of failure.

There, I’ve said it. Or typed it, I guess. Either way, the message is the same. I’m shaking in my boots, hiding under the bed, covering-my-face-with-a-pillow-terrified. Of failure. Something which is inevitably part of life. So… why am I so afraid of it? I’ve failed before. PLENTY of times. But I’ve dusted my knees off, gotten back up, and tried not to make the same mistake again. Or, tried to learn enough not to fall again. It happened of course, on numerous occasions, surrounding numerous things. But that’s okay. The world kept turning and I’m still here. So, again, why am I so afraid? And of something as common place as failure?

I’ve asked myself this time and time again, as I’m sure several people do. My answer might be different from yours, but what I’ve come up with is this: disappointment. I’m afraid of disappointing. Disappointing me? You? Maybe both. It’s like, if I fail, then I’ve let everyone down. And for me, that’s the worst thing imaginable.

I’m many things. A writer, a comedian, a people person… and with all these traits, I want to make sure I’m meeting expectations, keeping up to everyone’s high hopes. It’s like the world will come crumbling down if it doesn’t work out the way I want it to.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I can remember. It probably reaches back to the days of Barbie dolls and playing with the magnets on the fridge. But I’ve been told *countless* times that I should be a comedian. Even today. Today I was told I should make people laugh for a living. Which is an awesome thing to hear, don’t get me wrong. But what if I get up on that stage and freeze? Like I did in my acting class during my monologue? I’m telling you—if I’m ever put into Azkaban, the dementors would be sucking that memory out of me over and over again. It’s the worst. Freezing in front of people, yes, but failing them. I went up on that stage, knowing I could kick ass but then I didn’t. And it sucked. Hard core sucked. And I never want to feel like that again. But yet, here I sit. Typing away a blog that will be exposed to the internet universe for reading and review. And my book, Escape from Harrizel, is out there, up to be torn apart and critiqued. And that terrifies the shit out of me.

But other days I’m a ball of confidence. (Is that the right term? Ball of confidence? Sounds off…) I walk around like I see the paparazzi already and it’s on these days, my shoulders are back and held high. I guess we all have good, strong days where we believe in ourselves and other days where we just want to give up, because that seems the right thing to do. Not because we want to, but because it makes sense. I suck, so I should just give up. For me, it’s that fear of failure. If I don’t exceed, the world will end so maybe I should save myself the effort. And disappointment.

So believe me, I may look confident—and most times, I am—but the truth is, I’m desperately afraid of disappointing you.

And me.

2 thoughts on “Fear of Failure

  1. Mel says:

    The only way you ever fail, Cait, is to quit trying. Then you would disappoint everyone, including yourself. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. . .Einstein was told by his teachers he would never amount to anything. . . Spielberg dropped out of junior high and when he went back was put in a class for learning-disabled. . .Elvis was told early on by the “Grand Ole Opry” to stick to his day job. Need I go on? Every great person fails. Over and over sometimes. The reason they are successful is because they never failed to try again.

  2. Stepmom says:

    When you were a lot younger , you were always so competitive – like, if we went bowling and you didn’t get as many pins down as the rest of us, even though you were younger and smaller and less experienced, you would get so mad at yourself! So I guess what I’m saying is, give yourself a break, take things as they come, and keep on being as brave as you are. I admire you, and I know you will be successful, even if it takes more time than you’d like it to. You’re young, and resilient, and lots of people love you…believe me, none of us could or would be disappointed in you no matter what happens. Just Believe!

Leave a Reply