Friday, September 6, 2013

Dreaming of Fear of Failure

I had a dream the other night that was horrible.

Four kids broke into our house and our neighbors' house. They stole everything-- appliances, furniture, art pieces, Beauty and the Beast (aka my Mac and printer-- sob), and our house was bare. I caught the kids as they were leaving. I even remember the license plate number of their car-- 6668666. (I know what some of you might interpret in those numbers, but I don't really play that game. Maybe my subconscious does?) I tried calling 911 three times and no one answered. While calling the cops, the kids returned and began stealing all of our potted plants and even started digging up the cherry blossom tree from our huge planter out front.


At first, I thought this had to do with an overload of information I've been reading as of late about the surrounding neighborhoods and the spike of summer crimes that happens every year. Then in dawned on me-- it was about a whole lot more. Maybe it's my worry wart mind. I've written before about fear of failure, and I think this is what my dream was all about.

For the first time in six years, this month marks the start of my life without a regular paycheck. As I've ventured into my business full time, I've already shared some successes that I had not imagined would be possible. I've take some serious risks that have paid off. I believe in myself, but those risks were taken with the cushion of my last summer paychecks in the bank.

I have this awful underlying fear that I'll fail and that whatever I had hoped to accomplish will melt away and result in catastrophe. The irrational side of me visualizes a complete collapse-- having to sell all of our things and losing our house. You know, the whole living in a van down by the river thing. In reality, I know this won't happen. I know what I'm capable of in the pinching pennies department and if something horrible truly did happen, I'm resourceful enough that I think I'd be able to find a part time job or something.

Bottom line though? In these few short months of being self-employed, quite the opposite has been happening. I think I just need the reminder that being self-reliant doesn't always mean the end of the world. In fact, it most often rarely means that. It's quite the opposite, in fact. It means being more grounded in yourself. Now I just need to find the confidence in it all to know that my house won't end up stripped bare of all we have.

Do you have fears of failure too? How do you gain the confidence to overcome those fears?


  1. Same fear, all the way. It's not something that bothers me on a daily basis, but during especially busy times when there's added stress, I'll have several work-related nightmares a week. (I've only had a couple about school, though, so maybe that's a sign?)

    I like what you said about self-reliance not being the end of the world. In fact, I think it rarely is. Most people could stand to be a little more independent, if you ask me.

  2. Nothing beats failure like actually failing. When I didn't get my Masters degree, I felt like an utter failure. I failed myself, I failed my parent's expectations, and anything else I could add to that list.

    What helped me get over that feeling of failure was thinking about why and how I failed. What did I do wrong in this situation? I thought about all of the times I could have studied harder, ask for help but didn't, and just put more of an effort into my work. The truth was that I had lost interest way before I failed and instead of quitting and admitting to myself that I didn't want to do it anymore, I just let myself fail.

    Now, I hardly feel like a failure anymore. When things don't turn out the way they should then those are just roadblocks I have to pass in order to make it to my goal.

    Hitting rock bottom helps with the fear of failure.

  3. Thinking of you :) We should grab coffee sometimes at your favorite coffee shop :)

  4. What an awful nightmare! And an insightful interpretation--it sounds like your conscious is smarter than your subconscious right now!

  5. I didn't know that you had gone FT... Good for you! I received my first Row house card and was amazed at the quality! You have a good thing going! Stick with it!

  6. Just popped over from storenvy/etsy to let you know that I used your "you kick some serious ass" card in my post today. It just so happens that it's a reminder that you needed yourself :) I love your work! So do many many other people! Thank you for sharing you fears - sometimes others like me need to know that I'm not the only one. But persistence & hard work will get us where we want to be ... living a loving life. By the way, good job on leaving the "job" !!

  7. I just read this quote this morning "Failure is not falling down, it's staying down." - Renee Yohe

    Fear of failure is normal and is especially triggered when we step out into the unknown. When we feel like we don't have that safety net anymore and wonder if we'll make it if we jump. I think that if you practice knowing that it's just a thought, that it's not "Reality", then that can help dissipate the fear. I agree that grounding yourself more is super important because I like to believe that amazing things happen when you recognize the fear, but keep going.

    Have you heard/read the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield? He talks a lot about fear and how it plays out in our lives. Super eye opening. It's a quick read.

    Sending you more pleasant dreams!! Keep at it!

  8. I think you're right that we typically combine our personal fears with what we're seeing and hearing on a daily basis...all the information we take in during the day...and that's what shows up in our dreams. Frequently, many fears boil down to feeling that we don't have control over things. And being self-employed means you have to come to some acceptance of the fact that you do have less control over your income. It will probably be fine, but it will definitely vary more than it has in the past. But that's ok.

    I'm glad you've been overcoming your fears and knowing you really don't have anything to worry about. You could always sub...not sure if you want to be back in the classroom but it's an option. And if you are resourceful, you'll find there are always options. :)


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