Dear fear of failure:
Written in June 2016:
I'm feeling trapped in the cycle of wanting to get it right, trying something someone else says I should try, trying it, then feeling like a failure because doesn't work, or doesn't fix anything.
My relationship is actively falling apart, my house isn't just messy, it's dirty, and it doesn't matter how hard I try, it all feels pointless. On top of that, I am TERRIFIED of being called a fraud because I've spent years crafting and curating an image of myself that's terribly suggestive of success and coercive of knowing how to help others.
I don't know how to help myself so how the fuck do I help others?
I'm afraid my life isn't as instagrammy, or pinteresting, as what I want other people to believe.
Signed, your fear of failure.
Dearest fear of failure,
Ick. Deep breath, and get the tissues. You're really sweet, but you're not seeing everything here. You're only seeing yourself. You're in your pain, bb.
Sit down. Remember you are everything. Then keep reading...
You're failing, not for lack of trying, but because you're trying to hard to be something you're not. You're trying to please the people around you instead of celebrating the imperfect miracle that you are.
Humans learn through failure, right? I've heard you say that, but you're not learning right now, you're smashing your face into a brick wall over and over wondering why it hurts so bad.
It hurts because self-love is not found at the end of the road. And I know, I know, you don't want this to be the end, but it is. You know that.
You're failing, not for lack of effort, but because your efforts are focused on being validated by someone else, someone who has no understanding and no willingness to try, (which is fine, btw. Remember, you're only seeing YOUR pain, not the pain you're causing by refusing to move through. You may not ever get to know why. No one owes you anything.)
This is where you have to move from. Not understanding, but trust.
The truth is, you are allowed to make your own rules. You are. You are allowed to speak aloud your venom and dissatisfaction. You are allowed to be aggressive and uncompromising. You are allowed to speak and speak your truth until it lands and you feel heard.
But, most importantly, you don't have to.
You are whole, and allowed to feel it, all by yourself and 100% of the time, even when you're deep in the confusion of growth and personal accountability.
You are allowed to not know. You are allowed to just say I don't know without qualifying it.
Say I don't know. Stay there.
But. You're not allowed to make your limits of understanding anyone else's fault or problem. Ask for help when you need it. Be more gentle than you want to be, be more gracious with yourself than you know how.
You're afraid of failing because admitting it is humbling, and operating in this capitalist self-help world, being seen as a failure doesn't lend itself to kindness or community, but, jesus fuck, failure sure feels like honesty these days, doesn't it?