Fear Has Killed More Dreams Than Failure

Fear Has Killed More Dreams Than Failure

It’s January 18, 2020, as I type this. I had a plan for the new year, and fully traversed the Christmas break with my kids, intending to hit the ground running with my blogging plan in place starting January 1, 2020,. I’ve a full book of references, notes and points to make. God had other plans. The power went down on New Year’s Eve. It came back on 60 hours later (2.5 days), but by the end of spending two full days just surviving in the cold and snow (ok, we have a wood stove so it wasn’t that cold), the fear and insecurity which are my default settings had taken root. That was twelve days ago. I had such big dreams for starting this year strong. Fear kills more dreams (at least of mine) than any other factor in my reality. How do we go about doing all the things without being paralyzed by insecurity, fear and general feelings of inadequacy?

First, admit you’re only human

Groundbreaking, I know. As I sit here typing this, I have five kids running chaos, at least one of which sounds like they might be bleeding, maybe.

Ok, I checked, he’s not bleeding. The bloodcurdling screams were a result of his little sister trying to bite him. Ah well. I had a daily routine all planned out, but with the first five posts sitting in a queue to be proofed and then posted, I froze. I’m sure I’ll catch up, but it’s like anything else, when you start slipping, it’s easier to give up than to double down. We humans are funny that way. Not all of us by any means, but many times it’s a near miss to choose one over the other. Either way, there are going to be consequences.

Second, realize that all the good intentions won’t fix a lack of time

I wish it could simplify the truth to the point that it was all just that I was too busy getting things finished and through no fault of my own did I let this blog languish. The truth is that, per point one, I”m only human and a fallible one at that. Riding hard up against that however, is that truth that both my wife and I, together have five kids to take care (yeah, all day every day, funny that), and we both try to work full time to keep the bills paid and everything else running smoothly.

Somewhere recently I saw a week broken down by hours, to show that everybody had the same 168 hours per week, and factoring in a full work schedule, full regular sleep, and even family time, that there should be 48 hours left to pursue our greatness. Yeah, they forgot some aspects of parenting I suppose. By the numbers, I have about -10 hours per week to work on what needs to be finished after kids, meals, chores, working, and sleeping (sleeping usually get’s shorted first). The truth is that I can usually squeeze out half an hour a day sometimes to blog and write about my recovery processes here.

Being a dedicated husband and father takes time, more than any one man has. But we do our best, we’re only human after all.

“If it’s important, you’ll make it work” is hogwash

Life has a few different classification systems in this crazy world. Fear drives the accomplishment of the first few, and puts the brakes on others.

First, there are the immediate and critical things (bloodcurdling screams, missing children, medical emergencies), these need dealt with like RIGHT NOW. The won’t wait.

Second there are the immediate non-critical things. Such things include the obvious, addressing burning food, cleaning up pet vomit on the floor, digging the van out of a snowdrift so my wife can get to work, that kind of things. The need to happen, immediately, but nobody’s going to end up injured or worse if it’s a moment or two.

Third there are the critical but not immediate (just really soon!). Feeding the children on schedule fall into this category, so does shoveling off the roof and fixing that slow leak in the garden hose, or refilling the washer fluid in the van since it’s getting low and this time of year is messy on the road.

Once all of these different things are finished there’s the balance of daily life, playing with the kids, laundry, dishes, cleaning, general repairs, that kind of thing. The time adds up and there’s never enough of it.

So, to say that my writing is important to me and as such I will make time for it, is simplistic to say the least. Sometimes, at midnight, after folding the last of the laundry or reloading the dishwasher for the third load of the day, I am falling asleep at the keyboard, trying to ‘make it work’ and have the time to do the writing thing.

This is where the fear sets in

When life is busy, and things are done at speed with less than the usual level of attention to detail, then things are not as perfect as we’d often like them to be. I overcame the need to post perfect material a long time ago, but even I suffer from ‘is it worth posting, nobody want’s to read my rambling.’

See, some people can look square at the day and decide to conquer it, and some of us want to go back to bed for another hour or two because last night’s sleep sucked. The confidence to know that you’re good enough is a trait all of us possess. Many times we really do have to fake it until we’re moving and momentum is keeping us accountable.

Fear is often referenced is many forms; two of the most common acronyms that I run across are:

Forget Everything And Run [away]

Face/Fight Everything And Rise

A third comes to mind in our AlAnon perspective

False Evidence Appearing Real

My question is this [two part] – which of these applies to your situation, and does it matter?

In my case, I get paralyzed wondering if things are good enough, and if I am worth it, and if anybody cares.

See, the demons on my left shoulder are much more convincing that the angels on my right (and I’m a little deaf on my right side) leaving me with a serious case of insecurity.


So in closing, after lots of words that don’t say too much at all, sometimes you just gotta do what you can to keep getting back up.

You’re only a failure if you give up. Humans are fallible, I am one such. Each time I get back up (or sit back down to type in this case, eventually hitting publish) is a new start at an old game, and you’ll only fail or lose the game if you give up and stop trying.

If you question if you’re worth it, like I do, then remember that others are almost always less harsh on you than you are on yourself. Hell, drop me a line and I’ll go over things with you if I can, even if that just involves listening to you unload.

I have to get to work here, after all, those important and immediate things include penalized deadlines that I have to meet for work, so that I can get paid and afford to feed them five amazing children that I get to call mine.

DFTBA and may God bless and shelter you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *