Painting heart-cries, word by word

Confronting My Fear of Failure (New Year’s Resolution) December 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — verbosevictoria @ 8:40 am

Last year for New Year’s, I actually made a resolution. I don’t normally do this. Resolutions for an entire year are beyond me. I can barely keep a week-long goal. In fact, I barely make any goals at all.

I have a paralyzing fear of failure. I am what some would call a “closet perfectionist.” When I see something that needs to be done, it’s all or nothing; if I can’t do it perfectly, right now, then I would rather never even try. Since I’m not perfect, I tend to avoid and procrastinate quite often. The result is a messy, sliding, mud-mountain of expectations and failures.

Whenever my husband or a friend talks about setting a goal, breaking my tasks down into managable pieces, or making a list of prioritized tasks, I panic. I hate the pressure I put on myself every time I say “I WILL do such-and-such by this time today!” It seems the more determined I get, the worse I do. I can feel the mounting weight of expectation on myself and I start to crack.

Last New Year’s Eve, I was fed up with being paralyzed and panicked. I asked God to show me how to break the cycle I’ve been in since I was a little girl. He was faithful! He told me to make a goal for the whole year of 2012. (I admit, I felt very skeptical about that.) He told me,

“Resolve to make a goal every day.”

This was brilliant! This completely nullified my fear of failure because even if I completely missed the mark of my goal on a day, or on EVERY day, I still fulfilled a year-long resolution. 2012 is about to end and I’ve done what I set out to do. I faced my fear and set my sights ahead at least a little every day. Sometimes I accomplished what I set out to do, sometimes I was partially successful, and sometimes I completely screwed up. And yet, here I am with a year of God-motivated success simply because I was not afraid of looking forward and working hard. I was not afraid to mess up a day. It has been a beautiful thing.

So, what will my 2013 resolution be? I believe I can actually BUILD on last year’s resolution. I will continue to make goals every day and I will take it one step deeper. This coming year, I resolve to honor God with whatever I choose to do.

What I hope is that by honoring God with how I prioritize my day, I can take the power out of my personal expectations for myself. I’ve wrestled for so long to see myself the way God sees me, but my own self-loathing clouds my vision. I won’t go into it, but I have a serious issue with appreciating who God created in me. There is always a voice shouting over God’s gentle whisper that I am not good enough for the life God’s given me. So this year, by God’s strength, I will shut that voice down and listen to my Father-King instead.

If all I get done is keeping the kids alive and fed, I can be confident in that day as long as I give God the glory.
If all I can manage are two things on my page-long to-do list, I can rejoice in those two things done well by God working in me.
If the one thing I accomplish each day is to talk with Him and listen to Him, I will count every one of those days as eternally valuable becauseI will have lived alongside Him.

My God is faithful. I know He will increase where I am too weak and I know more will be done than I may even realize, just by looking to Him all day instead of at myself.

And who needs New Year’s anyway? I started this last week. 🙂


3 Responses to “Confronting My Fear of Failure (New Year’s Resolution)”

  1. Maria Says:

    I so proud of you! God is molding you so beautifully!

  2. It sounds like the goal is to make goal-setting a daily thing, rather than think about the whole year at once. Bite-sized goal-setting sounds like a great idea. I’ll try it, too. 🙂 I’m glad it’s working for you.

    • Yep, that’s basically it! I have to trick myself into making progress. Otherwise my brain goes into panic-mode and then it’s all over before it even starts!
      Let me know how it goes for ya. 🙂

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