A week ago I started my "Choosing Faith Over Fear" series explaining why I choose to be faithful instead of fearful. I spoke candidly about my mental well being and how I had to choose faith over fear in order to live a happy life. This week I will address fear of failure.
As a daughter: Unfortunately, one of the driving forces of my success has been a fear of failing as a daughter. From elementary school to law school, I pushed myself to be a shining example of the "perfect" daughter. Winning awards and being president of every student organization was always my goal. Yes because I'm an overachiever but also because I had a drive to make my parents and grandmother proud. I couldn't fail them. It seemed that my entire family put their own hopes and dreams in me. If I failed then everyone failed, and I couldn't allow that to happen. So I allowed the fear of failing to consume me. I stressed about every exam, every life choice, and even how my family perceived me. This was no way to live so I had to choose.
As a wife. Throughout my relationship, I didn't give much thought to what type of wife I would be. I didn't think about how domestic or submissive I would be or the dynamics of my marriage. I knew that one day I would be a wife and then I would just figure it out. It wasn't until my husband and I returned from our honeymoon, that it finally hit me. All of a sudden I began to have anxiety about being a good wife. I had a preconceived notion about what a wife is supposed to be and do, and I desperately tried to fulfill that role. I feared failing as a wife, failing my husband, and failing to be an example to others. I began to obsess about even the smallest things, and as a result my husband began to push me away. He couldn't figure out what was wrong and I was more concerned with fixing it "like a good wife should," than actually communicating with my husband. The error: having a fear of failing to be a stereotype.
As a mother. I will discuss my journey to motherhood on a later post, but one of the biggest stepping stones on my journey was dealing with the fear of failing as a mother. I'm not a mother but like most women I had to make a conscience decision to embark on the journey of motherhood. After my husband and I decided that we were going to have children, my mind was immediately filled with fear of failing to be a good mother. Will I give my child the love that he/she needs? Will I guide them in the right direction? Will I be a good mother? A part of me doubted this because of my general feelings about children. I'm not one of those people who loves kids. Actually I'm the person who will never volunteer to babysit and kids don't volunteer to come with me. I have had people say to me that they weren't sure if I should have kids. This fueled the fear so I had to choose.
Faith: Faith that Failure is a Necessity to Achieving Success
I had to make a choice as a daughter, as a wife, and as a future mother. I had to realize that I can't be perfect and that there will be moments of imperfection. More importantly I had to have faith that failure is a necessity to achieving success, and that the measurement of success as a daughter, wife and mother would be based on my standards and not the standards of others.
As I moved further along in my life, I had to choose whether I would succumb to the fear of failure or have faith in the process. Each time you fail you are supposed to learn a lesson from that failure, if you don't learn the lesson you will continue to go through the same exact failure. So I paused and I reflected. What was I missing? Faith in the process. I needed to fail, to strengthen my faith, to strengthen my marriage and family, to strengthen my vision, and to strengthen my relationship with God. I needed to fail in order to learn not to trust on my own "logical assessment or understanding" but on the power of God. The fear of failure stifled my growth. So I chose faith.
One of my favorite scriptures is 1 Corinthians 2:5 "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the Power of God." I believe that the reference to "wisdom of men" includes yourself. You may not see the path but you have the vision, so you have to have faith to achieve that vision and to not be sidetracked by fear.
I encourage you if you are facing the fear of failing to chose faith. If you fail, remember that failure is preparing you for something greater. Learn from those failures and keep moving forward.
"For with God nothing shall be impossible." Luke 1:37
Forever Fierce, Fabulous & Flawless