8.9.09

Fear of Failure

I was thinking last night, as I put the finishing touches on the daily schedule that I hope we can stick to this school year, about how it used to embarrass me to be seen trying anything new. It still does sometimes actually. I would rather Aaron believe that I have it all together and that things just run smoothly than to let him see me posting reminders to myself to learn a new habit, such as remember to put in a load of laundry right after breakfast. I know, how horrible, to let my husband see me making an effort at something. He will think awful things of me if he sees that. No, it doesn't make sense what goes on in my head.

But I've always been this way. I never liked for people to see me practice. They might hear a wrong note. I would rather exercise alone. So no one sees me sweaty and awkward. I would rather not get sleep than post myself a reminder to go to bed.

I don't like to feel that people are checking up on me, measuring me against a standard that I am trying to achieve and finding me wanting. I don't like that little, "I thought you were going to do x...?" question when I have given up or forgotten. I would rather they didn't know that I was trying at all rather than let them see me try and fail.

This of course is messed up. And silly. And I'm getting over it. Because the alternative is, well, not at all pretty. Here in this space I have taken tentative steps toward letting you see the stuff I try, and the mistakes I make, and the things I want to do better.

It wasn't until a bit later last night that I smacked my forehead and said, "I am a classic case of fear of failure that prevents me from achieving things. Just like all those shrinks told me when I was a teenager and I scoffed at them. So, I'm like everyone else pretty much. How boring.

But I had nothing else to write about today, unless you want to see the pretty color coded schedule. On that note, I don't know how much I'll be here this week. We started school today, and I will need to sit on top of people and push them through the new routine for a week or two before it gets easy to get through everything. Wish me, well, perseverance, endurance and patience would be nice.

6 comments:

  1. Wishing you all the best in your new schedule! (I am a tad of the good kind of jealous that you are homeschooling! A part of me would love to do that, I say as my first born starts kindergarten this week....)

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  2. I feel this! Any chance that I might be awkward or struggle at something, and I have zero desire to attempt it where anyone can see.

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  3. I'm with you. It's what kept me from writing and drawing all those years. It still keeps me from it if I think about it too hard.

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  4. I taught a kid in junior high, his was more than a fear of failure, it was a fear of being "found out" -- everyone thought he was brilliant, but he failed every class because he wouldn't do his work or take tests seriously. I think what stopped him was the idea that he wasn't really as smart as everyone thought he was and the first time he tried and failed everyone would know they'd been fooled all along.
    Funny thing is, though, he wasn't fooling anyone -- it was clear as day that he was bright. I think it was just that circle of insecurity.

    Just made me think of that when I read your post. I hope that kid's doing well today.

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  5. I know exactly what you mean. I remember when I was a kid I would try anything, anytime. When did trying something new become so scary?

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  6. I know exactly what you mean. I remember when I was a kid I would try anything, anytime. When did trying something new become so scary?

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