On Fear

I fear failing.

I fear that if I fail at anything I will hate myself, and everyone else will hate me too. People who like me will be disappointed and lose interest in me, and everyone else will mock and despise me.

On the one hand, this can be a good motivator to– for example– really pay attention to the instructions at work. But on the other hand, I have many times in the past decided it was easier to just not to do the thing I might not be good at.

The problem with using fear as a crux point is that it keeps me in my comfort zone of skills I’ve already mastered.

In the past I’ve avoided all forms of sports, most social interactions, board games, fashion, television, exotic food, travel, education, new jobs, refining my art form, and charitable work because I’m afraid I’ll do them poorly and everyone (including myself) will hate me for it.

When you really look at the situation, that’s a horrible way to live a life, eh?

I started thinking about this because I had a philosophy quiz on Tuesday and I really did not do well. I am not saying this with false modesty. The internet ate my exams so I got to do it over again, and I think I managed to improve my grade by the fact that the second time around I used full sentences instead of fragments. It was not a good moment.

And this failure just crushed me. I was physically sick to my stomach, I seriously considered dropping the course because I clearly wasn’t suited for it, and it took apple crumble and a successful poetry club meeting to get me to stop planning ways to flee the country. The emotional roller-coaster was so extreme I started thinking about it. And not only should I not entirely lose it over a quiz worth 3.75% of my mark, even if I did fail the course in one fell stroke it shouldn’t entirely destroy my self worth.

So here’s to breaking down the walls of that particular prison.

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