Why We Mortally Fear FAILURE

How do we define “failure?”… seriously…. is it as cut and dry as bombing a final exam?… hence, failing a course that you paid a lot of money for and will now have to pay again in order to retake for the credits……

Or could it be a simple matter of miscalculating a jump across a crevasse between two cliffs and falling to your death?? That would clearly constitute an err in judgment for which the repercussions would extend to all the people who ever loved you and/or were provided for….

Obviously, what truly defines failure is the subsequent outcome…. such as death—or in lesser cases, suffering a humiliating or frustrating setback while on our own individual paths. People like to throw that word around, though, don’t they?

“Carl is a failure because he never aspired to be a kick-ass Marine like his older brothers; he just works for a super-mart…”


“Brenda partied so much while she was young, that she now has lost the ability to get pregnant and raise a family…. tsk tsk.”

Are these two individuals FAILURES ~ ultimately?? We fail to rise to the expectations of ourselves and others who are watching our every moment of every endeavor-gone-wrong… If you ask me, the fear of failing is the problem. But most of all, it’s all those people “whispering” in your ear that they never figured you would amount to anything, anyway… certainly not special—I mean, how can [ordinary] you possibly compete with a sea of other successful people out there!

And I am just talking about people who are Caucasian, like me…. How ridiculously jaded is it for people of color and/or cultural ethnicity to persist in an environment of elitist attitudes, loud political climates voting for or against all aspects of life that, in one degree or another, directly affect the gender/race minority groups in this “land of opportunity” of ours… it gets to the point that all our efforts (every race of people everywhere they reside on this earth!) seemed to have been doomed to fail from the start. How messed up is that? Unless you are a go-getter; type-A personality; aggressive and ruthless; for any person to get hired into a great and successful career that one is clearly qualified to do, you must stand out… be attractive. Or, you – can – FAIL…to be noticed or valued.

The reason I bring up this whole dark, depressing subject is because failure haunts me, as well. I have every advantage to succeed {demographically, cosmetically, loads of skills and talent} but I feel the weight of the world bearing down on me, and the ultimate consequence I fear more than anything: failure. Where is the logic? How does one break free from this trap that paralyzes even the most capable people? OCDs are common when one is stricken by this mind-set. This is something I am more than acquainted with… it is the catalyst behind what truly haunts me: myself, and the core belief I have that I’m not ready yet to fight for control over my own dominion—this is what holds me back. They say “awareness is half the battle.” Now, the challenge is to embark on finding solutions to conquer this “war” within myself.

~ Christina Keep (Stickler)   dreamichristini@gmail.com


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