My Fear of Failure


The First Step to Freedom

She sits in front of her computer screen. Each breath is shallow and quick. Her palms sweaty as panic flutters through her limbs.

She takes a deep breath...anticipating the plunge.

It has taken her three days to work up the nerve to sit, and type, what she feels so deeply in her soul. The words swirl about playing a game with her psyche.

“How can I have so many terrific ideas, but can’t write them down?” She asks herself out loud.

“Stop it!” She scolds herself in the next breath. “You can do this. Everyone whom has ever read your stories loves them. Just take the plunge! What is the worse that can happen?”

As she starts to type the first line, her mind is bombarded with...what if?

What if no one likes it?

What if it isn’t good enough?

Are people really interested in what I have to say? What if I say the wrong thing?

She pauses…

“I love to write.” She tells herself. “I know I can be good at it. That is why I joined HubPages. To see if I have any talent.”

She closes her eyes and frees her mind. Ideas start to flow like water in a funnel. Her fingers fly over the keyboard. The rhythm flowing through her. It didn’t matter the topic, just that she was writing…freeing her mind…

Philippians 4:13 KJV

I can do all thing through Christ which strengtheneth me.

My fear...

As I sit here writing this article, I feel like the person who can do no good. How is it that I can stand at work, think of a million things to write about; but as soon as my fingers hit the keyboards, my mind goes blank? I have a notebook in front of me filled with topics, story lines, character names, and research; but nothing makes any sense anymore. I was once told it was fear holding me back.

Isaiah 41:10 KJV

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

"Just face it...You're Stupid!"

I have been told so many times over my life how stupid I am, that by the time I was a teenager, I believed my peers. Occasionally, I would come across an adult who would take pity on me, see my potential, and wanted in desperation to help me out. Unfortunately, I was a failure before I began, because I had set myself up to fail without even realizing it. matter the positive, or negative, was my enemy. I couldn’t handle it in any form.

My head would bow, eyes to the floor, like a dog ready for its beating. Tears would hover in my eyes till finally they would break free and roll down my cheeks. Snot would drip, and a hiccup began to rumble from my chest, sticking in my throat. I felt crushed! A complete failure!

There were so many things I knew I was good at, simply because those that didn’t know me told me. I could bake like my Grandmother Betty taught me, from a simple cookie to a Red Velvet Cake. I could sing with a voice so strong and loud, church members would stop me on the streets to ask when I was singing again. I was the leader of the pack, oldest of five kids.

In the same token, I was an outcast. I didn’t fit in any of the social groups in my school. I didn’t have the designer cloths. I didn’t party with the hardcore rebels. I wasn’t a straight A student, and as much as I loved sports; I didn’t have any talent to outshine others. I loved to talk, but didn’t know how to put my thoughts into words without always sounding so negative.

Writing became my outlet for my misery. A notebook was my best friend. Imagination freed me from the confines of socializing with those that I felt intimidated by. With writing I could control and make up the perfect relationship, perfect environment, perfect characters.

I could invent bad guys to express my anger without the fear of heinous consequences. I could invent the perfect loving boyfriend without the fear of rejection. I could live in a world were people weren’t so harsh with words and judging my every move.

My emotions were so hardwired wrong in my mind, that I became confused with identifying the correct emotion for how I truly felt. I was a mess on the inside, but tried to portray the perfect child/teen/person on the outside. I became a walking mat for those that pleased, in my quest for fitting in.

The person that showed me the difference...

Then I met a man.

Someone who seen past the lies I had created. He began to tear apart everything I had created around me to my core. Slowly, he built me back up with confidence, compassion, and understanding. I learned how to take a stand for what I believed in, and dealt with intimidation, without feeling like a coward. I felt my writing becoming richer. My views of people, society, religion, and the environment, more open-minded. I had a voice, as I built the confidence to back it. Now all I needed was a little knowledge. The notebook was still my best friend, but the library took on a new meaning.

I conquered my fear of failure.
I conquered my fear of failure. | Source

A new world awaited me.

As I look back over the years in my journals and notebooks, I feel proud of my accomplishments. I have a strong faith in Christ. I married the man, who still to this day, tells me I have a heart of gold. I have new goals and new doors are opening for me. I still on occasion humble myself by remembering my roots so that in return, I may someday be able to help someone overcome and conquer their fear of failure. One day I would like to publish a book. I know it may not be a best least I gave it my best shot.

Really, what is the worst that can happen? That I am told no…who cares! I did it for me!

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Comments 30 comments

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Fear of ailure is indeed one of the biggest stumbling blocks to achievement in any field, but perhaps more especially in writing.

Thanks for sharing this useful Hub.

Love and peace


onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 5 years ago from A small southern town

Good for you, taking those steps to conquer your fear of writing. We all have fears, just different ones!

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thank you tonymac and onegoodwoman. It was one of my first hubs that I wrote. I don't see myself as having talent, but there are those around me that encourage me to take the plunge and do what I love to do. Thank you for your comments.

Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I saw your comment on Mrs. Lynda's good-bye blog. That somehow brought me to this blog of yours which I truly enjoyed. You do love writing; that I felt while reading.

My ancestors, the Dacian people believed that we should fear nothing except the sky falling on us. I hold that to be true - I fear nothing except the sky falling on me. Fear hardly ever helps and even if it does it only helps temporarily.

Cheers and all the best!

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thank you Mr. Happy,

For a long time I was told I was too stupid to do anything, so I would excape into a world of imagination. (Some of it is a little warped tho.)

After time I found that there were a few things I was good at. If I can help others with what I have learned then I am happy. There are some topics that I have left untouch but will some day get the courage to write about. For now, I enjoy making people happy and overcoming my fears.

C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 5 years ago from NW Indiana


Happy for you here, overcoming a mindset. Now you have taken the plunge so swim. Enjoy the water. You can find a wonderful feeling of accomplishment by writing here on Who cares what everyone else thinks? They do not pay your bills. Write for your own fun and your freedom! You go girl!

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks! When I first started writing for HP, it was in the mindset that I would make money right away. Now that I have been here for a bit, I write for the enjoyment. It is quite the addiction reading and writing for HP. I am glad I joined up. Thanks again!

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada

tlpoague, I came across this hub on your profile, and it's very beautiful! I, too, was abused verbally as a child, and made fun of by ones close to me, and by bullies at school. I grew up having very little confidence in some ways, but trying to over-compensate in other ways. For me, as well, writing was an escape. My journal was my haven. I too met a man who has changed my life.

I am so glad that you shared your story, because it inspires me so much. I love how you were so honest, and how writing this freed you up to let more of the writing flow. I do believe that writing is so healing. Take care and blessings ... :)

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Prairie,

It has been hard overcoming the emotions that go with verbal abuse. I felt like a coward and never good enough for years. It was through a lot of prayer and help from my husband, (and now my children) that I have felt satisfaction in living my life. I still have some down and doubtful days, but I know they will pass.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a kind comment. (My husband scolded me for calling my last hub "Ramblings of an Idiot".) I actually chuckled and told him I thought it was catchy. He thought I was putting myself down. In some ways, he is right. In my mind, my DUH button was stuck when it came to being creative and yet, I made a hub out of it.

I am so glad to be of inspiration. Thanks! I say never give up the journal, some day it may make for an interesting story.

Take care...:)

toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. You are a good writer with an inspiring message. Glad you shared your talent.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Toknowinfo,

I think that first step was the hardest. Doubt is a nasty feeling that likes to take over. I am glad you liked it. Thanks again!

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

tlpoague: I for one would never put you down for any reason, and I know another who thinks as I do, He is called Almighty God, Our Lord Jesus Christ. God will only lift you up and inspire you and is willing to help you every step of the way to completing what you attempt with great success. God loves you unconditionally and will always be there for you.

I am a child of God. I love Him and serve Him and I too will do my best to be there for you too as His servant.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Dave,

At the time I wrote this piece, I wasn't faithful in my fellowship with God. I had let my faith go lax to please people around me. Then I experienced a rainstorm that reminded me why it is better to lean on God, then to depend on people I knew wouldn't be there for me. I still had daily challenges to attend to, but now through my faith, could have a more positive outlook when dealing with them.

My cousin once asked me if I felt that Satan was attacking me more when I witnessed to others or wrote about God. I told her that I felt the same no matter what task I was doing. It was if my faith was being tested so that my words may help someone else down the road.

I have shocked and offended many people with the way I talk or write. Some don't see me as a Christian, but that is because I try to live my life with an open mind. I felt that if one person came to accept Jesus as their Savior, by reading my hubs or talking to me, then my daily trials were worth it.

I have my husband to thank for helping me to open my mind to a better understanding of the things around me. He gave me the encouragement to write a book and to stand up and be myself.

Thanks again Dave for your words of encouragement.!

paradigmsearch profile image

paradigmsearch 5 years ago from USA

The information in this article can and will really help people. Rated up here, there, and everywhere. :-)

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Paradigmsearch,

I was scared to death when I first published this. I can't believe I still get sweaty palms before posting each new hub. Thanks for your votes and comments!

mljdgulley354 profile image

mljdgulley354 5 years ago

Criticism is easily given. It is a part of our being that seems to express itself more easily than saying thank you or wow what a great job. Criticism can be a catylist to spur a person on to doing something that would not get done. Your article was very good and I am very proud of what you have accomplished. I now see why Hub Pages have become important to you and am enjoying reading hubs from your followers. Great job Daughter!

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Mom,

HubPages has come to mean a lot to me. It has helped me to grow. There are many hurdles I have overcome and am proud of my accomplishments. All it took was that first step...overcoming my fear. Thanks for all of your support!

You'd 5 years ago

How deep! I have only one thing to say: just don't care about failure. Simply do whatever you want to. Forget the failure, completely. Be optimistic and only meditate on your success. Then, the fear will gradually leave you. :)

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA Author

Thank you Youd,

Great advice! Sorry it took me so long to respond back. I have been busy here with our new business. Once I began to write more, I did lose that fear of failing. Everyone once in a while it will rear its ugly head, but for the most part, it is a great feeling to find confidence in what I am doing. I have set new goals for the upcoming year and am looking forward to seeing the outcome. Thanks again for you advice.

That Grrl profile image

That Grrl 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

We have too much in common. I grew up as the oldest sister of four, looking after all of them. I didn't really have peers cause I felt so down on myself I hardly talked to anyone at school. I partly changed myself after high school but I've yet to really conquer the fear of failure. I hold back rather than giving 100% and really putting in my best effort. I've been reading a book about adult under achievement, it's helping, but of course I procrastinate and don't read it weeks at a time. I met a man too, but it didn't work out so well. Just proves you can't count on someone else to save you. But, I am very glad it worked out for you. :) Keep writing. Beyond everything else going on I have always had that too and it does help a lot.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks That Grrl, I have found that between my faith in God and my writing, I can conquer anything now. Sorry, if I come across as preachy. I still have my fears, but before I let them overcome me, I try to pray about them. I found that I can't expect someone to help "save me", only Jesus can do that. Books couldn't help to build my confidence no matter how many I read. (I have read a lot of self help books.) My best life line has been my bible and my journal. It helps me to see where I have grown and where my hold ups are. I am still a huge procrastinater, only because some days I allow myself to be influenced by my surroundings. Feel confident in yourself. Write what feels good, and what you know. Before long, you will have conquered some of those fears that have held you back. Don't worry about what others think. I learned the hard way that you can't please them all. Just be yourself.

Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. I look forward to reading some of your work.

aslaught profile image

aslaught 4 years ago from Alabama

I saw a lot of my self in your writing. The lack of confidence, the feeling like an outsider. I'm glad you found your voice. Your writing is very good. I enjoyed this hub very much. Shine on!

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thank you, Aslaught, for the kind comment. I have found that writing is my therapy. It just took a lot of time to find the confidence to share it with others. I hope that my writing will help others to overcome their fears that hold them back. Thanks again, and sorry it has taken me so long to respond back.

thesoulsremedy 4 years ago

This post reminds me of myself. It took six years and countless friends and strangers to push me to write. I had every excuse under the sun. The fear of failure before one starts is a cancer many suffer from. with God and faith one cannot fail. How deep is your faith: ankle deep, waist deep or you wading in the water?


momster profile image

momster 4 years ago

It has taken all of us many years to overcome our fears of failing. But with trial and error we have become better at dealing with the things that slowed us down. Watching and hearing from others who showed us we are a lot more than the nothings we thought we were have made us become stronger for ourselves and those around us. Many people have given us words of wisdom to guide us but we did not understand them at the time. Now we know what they meant and have bettered ourselves and our lifes. You have always had many fears and in the years I have watched you overcome a lot of them. I have been there for you and you for me. If it was not for the family helping us out and showing us that we can be stronger we would still be failing. It is our own strengths that help others and by our parents showing us that helping others is a great thing you have become a better person in yourself. I love you sis and your not failing you just have a lot of bumps in the road like everyone else. Keep up the good work.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thank you thesoulsremedy, I am sorry to take so long to post back. The trials of life have steered me away from HP for a bit. I am taking a moment to catch up on comments. To answer your question...I would have to say waist to wading deep. I am thankful for my faith and my hubby to help me get past a few of my fears, that were holding me back. I went through a time when I put my faith on hold because of such fears and defending what I believed in. Then one day, God reminded me why He was a part of my life and I have been clinging to Him since. Right now I look to Him to help me through these trials I am facing, and trying not to let the cancer of fear stop me. Thanks again for taking the time to leave your thoughts. :)

Thanks Sis! Could I borrow your grater to plow down a few of these bumps?...LOL!

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago from New England

Tlpoague, I would give you a little advice :........ Look at your photo the way that I do , write about the beauty of the soul of the lady in the hat and sunglasses , the one that I imagine sitting on a bench at the shoreline ?, perhaps one hand on her hat to keep the wind from carrying it to the sea , and a smile that beckons the tide . And makes others smile as they walk by her !.......just my observation !+++++oh , and have a wonderful day!

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks ahorseback! It is amazing to look back and see how far I have come since joining HP and taking the plunge into public writing. I was just sitting on the sandy beach of a lake, just the other day, reflecting back on the milestones of my life, as I watched the sun dip behind the evening clouds, in an ending of a beautiful birthday. I couldn't help but be grateful for the life and talents I had been given. I am looking forward to what the future holds for me and the many stories waiting to be told. It is wonderful to have friends here to remind me in my down moments how far I have come, and how much I have shared from my box of craziness that others have enjoyed. Thank you again for your support and advice. Have a wonderful day too!

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

What a heart tugging honest hub ;however so many will be able to relate to your feelings here.

I used to be so frightened of doing something wrong and wouldn't believe that I would do it right and this would make me go wrong anyway.

Self confidence at a big fat nil!!However how nice it is to have overcome this fear;I shall never be the one ho dives in to do everything but at least today I have a great faith in myself and know what I can and can't do.

I think today there are more positives than negatives.

Thank you so much for sharing this honest and brilliant hub

HubPages is indeed a wonderful community and here's to so many more hubs or us both to share on here.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 3 years ago from USA Author

Thank you Eiddwen for your support. This was a difficult hub to write when I first started. I lacked so much self confidence. Now it seems to be no big deal, unless I am trying to do an informative hub. Then I start to worry a bit. My family is excited that I started writing for HP. It was more about feeling confident and working on improving my writing than money. HP had been a very supportive community! I am looking forward to many more hubs to share and read. Thanks again!

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