Fear of Failure

Something really irritated me last week. On our school mom’s WhatsApp group, the class mom announced that our children will be having a party on the last day of term this Friday. One of the mothers asked if she could come too. That irritated me for so many reasons.

We are approaching three and a half weeks of holiday which I am dreading in a way. Since I’m recovering from illness, I’m at home and can’t disappear to work to follow my own goals. So the prospect of giving up weeks of my own time is quite daunting. I have already laid down strict rules about how the day will unfold and that mornings are mine.

First I thought I was most irritated by the fact that this mother has absolutely no goals and dreams of her own that she’d give up her last morning in a month to be at a kids’ party. What kind of smothering lunatic would sacrifice those last precious hours of alone time? And yes, I’m aware that not everyone is introverted and not everyone likes alone time. I realised, however, that I was most irritated about the fact that I have nothing better to do either.

My book has had a set-back in terms of timing but it will be of better quality once it’s ready. That has left me frustrated as I was getting into gear with planning a launch and figuring out how to promote the book. And now I wait, again. As if I haven’t waited long enough to earn income and to get going on my new career path.

So in the meantime, I’ve found a speaking coach so that I can improve my public speaking skills. I want to feel at an appropriate level in order to charge money for it. I know that I need to join Toastmasters and I know that I’ll fail a lot. And it has left me so grumpy. I’m restless and not sleeping well. I think I’m having to get myself out of the habit of simply caring for myself all day. Now I’ll have to push myself.


But I do know that I’m ready. My doctor has confirmed that I can work a full day. And I know that the work I do must be the right kind of work so that I don’t slip backwards into ill health again. I’ve also noticed that I attack things with gusto lately like when a friend asked me to crochet squares for charity. I have thrown myself into it so much that I’ve almost completed two blankets in a few weeks. It’s a sign that I have enough energy to invest into the things I like doing.

I’m excited about the future but I’m also terrified. I know that if I want to be any good at what I do, that I’ll need to practice the things that I suck at, in front of a whole lot of people. That’s pretty scary for me, and probably for anyone. But it must be done. I know that I can’t go backwards so I have to go forwards. And this limbo (aka recovery) I’ve been in for over a year just can’t continue. Not only because of the lack of income, but because I need goals.


So tonight I’m going to my first Toastmaster’s meeting and tomorrow I”m having my first official coaching session on speaking. Hold thumbs that I can pick myself up from failure enough to succeed on my new path.

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I am a champion for living your passion. Writing is my passion, my destiny and my calling. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife and live in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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