That one word can bring to mind many different fears for anyone. What about FAILURE? Has that word ever come up in your vocabulary and there you stand trying to run away from it. For me, failure is the one word in my daily life that I just couldn’t get away from. A few years ago, a very good friend, gave me one piece of advice.
You allow failure to control you, when you give it the ability to make decisions in your life.
What the what?! Okay, how was I giving an inanimate object – a word, control over making decisions in my life?!
My friend was trying to explain to me that I had given my fear of failure control by allowing it to determine the outcome of the decisions that I was making. I stopped making decisions based on prayer and what was true and instead, started looking at myself as a failure. My inability to look beyond my past had created a thought pattern filled with steps that included me looking in the mirror and seeing someone I believed could not succeed.
Here I was trying to live in the fear of failure and be a wife and teach my children how to grow up to be adults who loved, cared, and could care for themselves and others. When I couldn’t even keep myself sane from worry?! Every new task and project I touched had a huge black cloud hanging over it and no end in sight, except me being ashamed of my inability to complete it.
How It Changed Me
I went from this ‘happy go lucky’ girl who looked at every day as a blessing and woke up with a smile on her face…to someone who was afraid of everything that was put in front of her because she felt completely out of control. The outcome felt so far away. The end I wanted to see, was like looking through a darkly shaded piece of etched glass. Nothing felt normal any more, I definitely didn’t act like myself anymore.
I vividly remember driving down the road one day from the little rural area we lived in, to the urban area where I grew up and about halfway through that 30-minute drive it hit me. Anxiety flooded my body like an invisible and unknown volcano had just erupted on top of my skull. My three children were in the car, none of them over the age of 8, and I was losing my mind behind the wheel. Suddenly, my body was hot, my heart was racing, my chest was tight, and I couldn’t catch my breath. The more I thought about what in the world was going on and why I was feeling this way…I would become more and more anxious.
I. COULD. NOT. FIGURE. IT. OUT.
It was as if my mind was completely blank, except for the overwhelming feeling of being out of control.
That is anxiety…the feeling of absolute overwhelm, but NOT knowing why. To this day, I don’t know what happened. What I do remember is that I called my Dadu later that evening, he drives trucks and works evenings. The Lord had put us both on the same path…because we needed to be there for one another. We needed that support system. No one will ever truly know me like my Dadu. I always say that when God made his mold, He kept it because He knew that there would be a daughter who needed to be like her Dadu. Oh, and if you are wondering why I call him ‘Dadu,’ check out my last post 15 Facts About Me.
I was so tired, that I couldn’t function in daily activities. Getting dressed, brushing my teeth, and cleaning my home was just too much to handle.
One morning I woke up and decided…”I. AM. DONE.”
Fear wasn’t of God. I knew that. Scripture proved it to me. “For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
He had already shown me that I was loved, I could succeed, and that life was not as bleak as I believed. What did I do? Here are the 5 things I did.
- I stopped using the word ‘failure‘ in my vocabulary. It only made me remember all the times I had felt inferior and inadequate.
- I started praying more often, no matter where I was. When I got that overwhelming feeling, I just started praying ‘Lord, help me. I cannot do this on my own.’
- I started loving myself ‘FOR WHO I AM.‘ Seriously, I remembered what it was to love myself, right where I was at. No matter what dirty and tattered clothes I had on, no matter the last time I showered, or put makeup on…I loved me for me.
- My energies started becoming devoted to people who already loved me. My husband, children, family, and friends…those people that could always make me feel sufficient and loved.
- Self-care became a priority. Like showering, giving myself a manicure, wearing makeup to feel prettier, getting my haircut more often than 1x every 12 months.
Girl…I know that fear is probably something you struggle with one way or another. Let me tell you though ‘You are more than the sum of your thoughts.’
What is 1 thing you can do RIGHT. NOW. to change the fear that is consuming you?
It doesn’t not have to be big…but it has to be something you will stick with. Let me know what that change is and remember it takes 21 days for something to become a habit.
Love ya! Bye y’all ❤️