F is for Failure

is for Failure

I hate to fail.
I always worry about failing at life.
I worry about failing as a wife, mother, friend and a just as a person.
I trace my fear of failure back when I was little about 3 or 4. I tried to polish my nails for the first time and I was so proud of my accomplishment. I went to show my mother. I know that in her mind she just wanted to help me but the words that exited her mouth haunted me and it still haunts me today.
She told me that my nails were bad and I needed to do them over. I was crushed. I know it sounds trivial but as a little sensitive kid, it really affected me. I redid my nails and to her satisfaction.  I made sure that I got it right this time.
After that I felt like I always had to get it right I had to be perfect.
I felt like I needed to be the perfect child. I had to do everything right and I refused to fail.
That feeling became a part of me and I pushed myself to excel in every aspect of my life. I became the model child going to school every day, doing what I was told, coming in on time when my parents set a curfew for me.
I became the model student with praise from all my teachers. I read everything I could get my hands on, I had mostly A’s in all of my classes and graduated number 5 in my class.
Yet I knew deep inside I was not perfect. There were so many secrets about myself that I kept hidden. It ate at me and despite all my hard work I felt like a failure all the time.
No matter how great my accomplishment I never thought it was good enough. I didn’t think that I was good enough and so I worked harder to be the best. Anything less than that was failure. The panic and anxiety I felt when I didn’t do so well was more than enough to push me to work harder.
It took having children and therapy before I realized that I had a problem. When I had children I realized that I couldn’t tell my kids they were good enough and it was okay to fail sometimes when I didn’t believe it myself.
So, to push myself I had to face my fear. So when I completed my first novel despite my fear of it failing I published it and made it available to millions of people. Though I was terrified I knew that if I failed I could always try again.


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