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the fear of failure.

Posted Oct 04 2009 11:14pm
I have a confession to make: I hate the post I wrote yesterday. I've been fighting the urge to delete it ever since I posted it.

I didn't mind writing it. I wanted to write it. I was asked a question by a fellow blogger and I wanted to help her out with any advice I might have. I mean, that's what this community is about, right? But after I posted it, I felt this burning shame. My inner critic came out BIG TIME.

"Why the heck are you acting like you know what you're talking about? You've been doing this for less than a year. You know the statistics, right? You know the odds are that you're going to gain back all this weight and probably more. So what if you think 'this time feels different'. All those other people who lost weight and gained it back thought 'this time is different' too. You look like a know-it-all. But you're even worse – you're a COMPLETE MORON who only THINKS they know it all! Delete that post now and save us all from this embarrassment!"

My inner critic is a serious bitch, no joke. But she's very convincing, and sadly, she's not wrong about all of it.

The truth is, I am TERRIFIED of failing. I do know the statistics, and I do know the odds are not in my favour. And I can try to tell myself that I'll be different, but I realize that most of those people thought THEY were different too.

And, of course, hand-in-hand with the fear of failing comes the fear of success. This is the real bitch. Because it's one thing to fail at something that you've barely put any effort into. It's one thing to set out to lose weight and give up after a couple of weeks. It's another thing entirely to come so far, and then gain it all back. I feel like I have so much farther to fall now, and writing posts like the one I did yesterday, where I'm indirectly acknowledging how far I've come and how much I've learned – well, those posts are, for me, like being on a tightrope and finally looking down. Like Wile Coyote, I feel like I'll fall the minute I realize how far down the ground is.

See, even now my inner critic is screaming at me to delete that last paragraph. "Don't talk about how far you've come! You haven't really gone anywhere! You are one bag of chips away from gaining it all back, missy. You're a statistic. You're just another silly girl who tried to lose weight and failed. The less you say about your success, the less embarrassing it will be for all of us when you finally, inevitably, gain it all back."

It is exhausting, this barrage.

The good and bad thing is that there isn't much I can do about it except what I'm already doing. Keep making good decisions, day-to-day. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Stay on the tightrope.
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