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Fear of Failure or Fear of Success

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Here it is. I lost 2 pounds this week. I haven't seen this number in some time. I feel like I am at this crossroad where I can gain the same 3 pounds back (again) or I can make the push and keep doing what I have been doing and see if it'll take me anywhere. Would you believe I am almost more afraid to push and fail than I am to let the 3 pounds back on the scale?

It isn't like I haven't ever been at goal weight. I have! back in 2009. I was there in July and kept it within 5 pounds for months. Then the slow gain started...

If you have read any of my other blogs you know that I felt like I needed to let go of that naturally skinny 98 lb high school senior. I felt I had to say good bye and morn, yes morn the person I no longer am. I still believe that and while logically I believe I have done that something is still holding me back. What? Why haven't I been able to jump on that wagon of healthy living and weight loss success that I had once been at?
Because I am scared. I am not exactly sure why I am so scared to be that person that I really want to be.Am I scared of reaching my goal weight and not being able to maintan it again? yes that is pretty real. but the truth is, I HAVE been maintaining. For almost a year now. I have been maintaining the same weight gaining and losing the same 3 pounds. Right now I am 10 pounds from my goal weight. It doesn't seem like a lot when you say it out loud but to me, it might as well be 100. Over and over again I have gotten to the point of losing a couple pounds then I stop doing what I am doing in exercise. I start eating more and more of my trigger foods. Making excuses all along the way. I self sabotage again and again.

There is a quote that I love and I apologize because I don't remember who said it and I am going to paraphrase it here....We will remain the same until the pain of remaining
the same is greater than the pain of change.

Am I at that point yet? I am close, that I know. I have been reading a lot today. I did a Google search for Fear of Failure. I have posted some key quotes for some of these articles as well as the links to them below. Some of the articles I read I wanted to scream! Others just one or two sentences made me stop and think. I hope they will do the same for you all too. I will be back to explore and think "out loud" on some of these at some later date but right now. I am in the mind set of "fake it til you make it".

"Everyone likes to succeed. The problem comes when fear of failure is dominant. When you can no longer accept the inevitability of making mistakes, nor recognize the importance of trial and error in finding the best and most creative solution. The more creative you are, the more errors you are going to make. Get used to it. Deciding to avoid the errors will destroy your creativity too."

"Which do you fear most? Success or failure? Could it be that what holds you back in life is more about your fear of success than it is about your fear of failure? Before we can dig into the fear of success side of the equation, we need to address the more commonly thought-about fear of failure.

Just about everyone has hurdles in life, some more pronounced than others. Regardless of your situation or circumstance, the question remains: are you willing to do what it takes to overcome what challenges you? When confronted with a difficult challenge, do you let your fears about coming up short stop you from taking any action at all?"

"These negative "what if" scenarios may sound pretty darn close to fear of failure. However, underneath them lies a precursor fear: What if I get what I say I want and I'm not prepared to handle it? What if I'm just an imposter pretending that I know what to do?

The subtle little twist here is that while you might be able to imagine success and even create it, the doubt remains that you will be able to handle it. The fear of success then often shows up as self-doubt, as an inner voice reminding you that you probably can't handle the success you want."

"...has a fear of failure meant that, subconsciously, you undermined your own efforts to avoid the possibility of a larger failure?...You might experience some of these symptoms if you have a fear of failure:
A reluctance to try new things or get involved in challenging projects.
Self-sabotage - for example, procrastination, excessive anxiety, or a failure to follow through with goals.
Low self-esteem or self-confidence Ė Commonly using negative statements such as "I'll never be good enough to get that promotion," or "I'm not smart enough to get on that team."
Perfectionism Ė A willingness to try only those things that you know you'll finish perfectly and successfully."

"Stop sabotaging yourself. If you donít feel motivated, maybe itís because you have an internal conflict. What would you lose if you reached your goal? For example, if you took a new job, would your friends be envious? If you slimmed down, would you lose an excuse for being unhappy? Be sure that you own your dream and you really want everything that comes with it. Donít do something to please someone else. "

"Why is change so difficult? Why do we fear, rather than embrace, taking a risk? And can we find a way to forge new territories that seem to promise, but can't guarantee, a better life?....Edwin Locke, one of the foremost researchers in goal-setting, states that the No. 1 thing that stands in the way of goal attainment is fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear of making the wrong decision, looking foolish, being embarrassed and so on."
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v FLGIRL1234
    I can so relate. Sometimes I really can get to questioning myself. Why do I yo-yo so much. It's gotta be the fear all the way around. Great blog. :)
    1275 days ago
    Lot's of great thoughts but I guess the take home message is have no fear.
    1327 days ago
  • v BILL60
    Way too much thinking. Just go and "Do It".
    1327 days ago
    Great blog! Really hits home for me. I get so close to a goal weight..... within 10-15 lbs, then I gain it all back. It's like I am becoming a different person and it scares me. I have never been thin and fit and healthy before. Always been "the fat girl"....

    We can do this!!!!
    1328 days ago
  • v LMB-ESQ
    Well, you said you'd post a blog and you certainly did! (And I said I'd be the first to comment on it too **gloating** lol)

    That quote about the pain of remaining the same being greater than the pain of changing, that's where I'm at too. And that article too. Oh boy.

    So does recognizing that we fear failure, for whatever reason, mean we are close to overcoming that fear? Boy, I sure hope so, because it's hard as hell to live in fear! And even harder when you either don't recognize the fear. or worse, start to embrace it as "normal."

    You were right when you said you and I were cut from the same cloth. Somehow we always seem to manage to post stuff the other needs to see just at the right time. So how about it? We help each other get back on track?
    1328 days ago
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