People have fears. Fears are a part of human nature.
Some people have arachnophobia, a fear of spiders.
Others have acrophobia, a fear of heights.
I know people that get anxiety when they talk to people they don’t know, or in front of a large group of people for that matter. I know people that are scared of being alone. I know people that are scared of the dark.
And while I share all those fears and I resonate with their feelings, perhaps the biggest fear I have is failure.
I fear failure.
I fear the dreadful sound, of someone saying
“Kristie, I’m really dissapointed in you.”
“Kristie, you let me down.”
That look on their face, The gleam of hope in their eyes, replaced by an overcast show. Instead of a smile, only lips curved into an unsettling frown. Creases between eyebrows, folds on the side of the lips. And instead of a booming, dynamic, voice filled with life… A hollow sound comes out. A monotonous tone.
Failing a person is worse than failing yourself. You can always heal yourself, blame yourself. And deep inside, you know that no matter how hard you’ve failed, you’ll get back on your feet. But you can’t mend another person’s feelings about what you’ve done. Only time heals such things like that, I’ve found. You can explain, write a letter, do whatever you’d like. But once you’ve broken the fine thread of of disappointment, it’s over.
I’m lucky that I haven’t experienced many moments where I see such a face from someone else.
I’m just cursed with feeling like I failed myself.
I’m so scared of failing. Failure breeds an unknown beast, gnawing at your doubts, feeding on your depressed soul. Failure creates a sense of unknown.
You know what happens when you succeed. Glory, fame, applause awaits you. But failure?
Who knows what will come from that.
I’m so scared of not doing well on a test, of not playing that piano song perfectly, of not editing an article to perfection, of not being the very best, perfect version of myself each day.
And I know, it’s impossible to be perfect. It really is. But for me, I strive for perfection, an unattainable goal leaving me panting, crying, pleading for help as I ascend a never-ending stairway to that level.
I live for things that are perfect.
When a photo is perfectly composed, when my nails are perfectly trimmed, when my desk is perfectly neatened, with papers stacked, edges aligned, pencils sharped to the same length.
I guess you can say I’m “OCD,” or “Type-A.”
Or maybe I’m just obsessed with the idea of perfection. The idea that something out there maybe perfect, just right, 100% correct.
It’s a terrible life to live, being infatuated with perfection. I let myself down too much. I set goals that are often too high to achieve, goals too difficult to obtain. I compare myself to amazingly insane standards.
And now that I think of it, maybe being obsessed with perfection isn’t too bad after all.
Maybe being obsessed with perfection is the reason why I try so hard. Maybe being obsessed with perfection is the reason why I don’t settle for nothing but my best effort.
I have drive, a drive for the utmost perfection.
You know, being obsessed with perfection set me up for failure.
The problem I have right now, is accepting the fact that I can’t be perfect. I can’t be perfect, no one will ever be perfect, and nothing will ever be perfect.
I’m trying to embrace the failure.
I remember someone saying this to me a long time ago, but it was
“You’ve worked hard this whole year. It’s okay to fail now, to give up.”
It sounded so insane, so crazy for me. Why would I give up? Why would I leave all my work to waste and just drop everything?
I understand, now.
I get it. I need to give up, to let go once in awhile. It’s unhealthy to keep pushing at 100% speed my entire life.
You see, I’m exhausted. I’m tired of chasing after the impossible.
I’m ready to accept failure now. I ready to see the wrinkle on my shirt, to know that I messed up the last 4 beats of the song.
I’m ready to see that every day is a different day. And every day, just by going through it, I’m trying my best. And if my best gives me failure, then hello failure.
Nice to meet you.
Suddenly, failure doesn’t seem so scary after all.