Fear of Failure

“You have been weighed, you have been found wanting”

Mumford & Sons

As always, that time of year approaches yet again..cross is here. I have spent my last 2 years in a valiant attempt to be a semi decent cross racer. I love the sport, I relish how I feel when I arrive at the finish..but at a certain point, failure begins to take its toll.

The first season I did well, because I raced against no one..the second season I wrote off to lack of training. But in year three, I either need to train and truly race or admit defeat.

Defeat would be the easiest path. And to be honest, its the one I have taken so many times before. I can’t say this is the first time I have let fear of failure hold me back. And of course, the question I must ask myself is why?

Fear is easy. It allows us to excuse ourselves from life. It is said you fail 100 times before you succeed, but never once do they acknowledge how hard it is to fail 100 times and keep trying. I have sat on the fence for so long, never really trying, never really making a true effort, so that I could never feel like I truly failed.

I admit it. I am scared. I am so scared to say I tried and failed. I am scared to be weighed and found wanting. I am so scared to push myself to my limits and see what I cannot do, when I should embrace this challenge and fins out exactly how strong I am.

This is me. A strong woman so full of fear and self doubt. I would rather sit on the sidelines than come in last.And it terrifies me because I know that this is evident in my life in more than just cycling. In work, in friendship, and mostly, in love, I am so full of fear that I give up rather than say I tried and failed.

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”

John Lennon

So this season, I am going to try. In every aspect of my life. I am going to stop acting out of fear. I will embrace my weaknesses, my imperfections, my flaws and faults, and race purely for the love of cycling. And I will hope this allows me to approach other parts of my life without fear.

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