Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Fear of Failure

This post is inspired by a post from Sex and The Single Dad, written by a good friend, JR. Please go the post linked as it is real, authentic, and powerful. Wonderfully written piece JR! The fear of failure is something that bites us all. The fear of not succeeding in the eyes of anyone but ourselves can drive us to the brink of insanity. Why is this? Why do we let the outside influence our insides so much? I find myself asking these questions a lot of myself. There has to be some definable something inside of us that controls how much the fear of failure affects us.

As a dad, this fear is omnipresent. I worry all of the time about whether or not I am failing as a dad and what my children think. I know they are young (3 and 1) but they have their own idea of me in their little brains. I just know they do. What does this image look like though? Do they see me as a great dad? A fun dad? A loving dad? There are many things I could sit here and think about until the point my heart is four feet below my left foot. There are many fears, worries, and concerns for every dad. Fears for the health and safety of our kids, fear of the object behind the smell of that diaper, and the fear of losing a child. The worst of these, and perhaps the most prominent is the fear of failure.

In my experience, the road of life and the road of uncertainty are the same roads. One name for each side of the street in my opinion. We cannot predict the future and cannot change the past. We can only walk the line that is directly in front of us. We can expect the world out of ourselves. We can expect the perfect responses at the perfect times in the perfect places. Yet, if that is all we expect of ourselves, then we can surely expect failure. The fear of failure is overcome when one realizes that failure is a part of life. The only failure to be scared of is failure to use our shortcomings as a lesson and teaching tool.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" may be the truest words ever spoken by FDR. The biggest thing we have to fear as dads, men, and people, is having fear. It is going to come to us by nature. We cannot hide ourselves from fear. We can, however, work together to overcome our fears one at a time and better ourselves. Our fears will bring us down and in turn prevent us from being the best dads, husbands, and men we can be. We should not fear the kind of dad we are; instead we should be proud of the dads we are and make a promise to our children and our own selves that we will always strive to be the best dads we can be without fear of failure, and fear of fear.

-The Dude-

Now it's your turn! We have all had fears as dads and as people in general. What are your biggest fears about being a dad? What are your fears about life in general? And what do you do to face and overcome your fears? Please share below and together we can learn, understand, and overcome the worst of our fears!


Matt (@Dads_journey) said...

It is a daily struggle. I look into my youngest's eyes and wonder if I am a cool cat, someone they miss every time I walk out the door. I know that I cannot be perfect, I just want to be perfect for them. I am older now almost 38, and know that as he gets older I may not be able to keep up. I do know that I am going to give everything I have so I know that I did EVERYTHING I could to not fail.

John, another thought invoking post. Thank you and JR for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Excepting failure and learning from it is essential, but a hard lesson to learn. I am with you though.
"I do know that I am going to give everything I have so I know that I did EVERYTHING I could to not fail." Well said sir!

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