Fear of failure, again

I’ve written about fear of failure before. It seems to be something that secretly creeps into my life on moments when I least expect it.

Today I felt urged to ask my friends on Facebook for their opinion on a haircut decision. It’s something I’ve been feeling nervous about (I know my mom won’t like it) and I kinda knew they’d say: “DO IT!” 😉 But then one of my friends said: “Don’t miss out on a chance for new experiences, Tanja. You’ve come too far for that.” Boom. (Thank you Caroline!)

I’ve missed out on new experiences often enough, because I was scared about being judged. By strangers, by friends and also by family. When it happens (and it does), it feels as if I can’t live up to the set expectations, and that I’m disappointing someone who thought better of me. It makes me feel like a failure.

Why can’t I simply shake off such remarks  like rain off a duck? I guess because of past experiences. In high school I used to be mocked for my ‘silly clothes’ and ‘weirdness’. Superficial as they may seem, those words hurt deeply, and they linger. And then there are the more subtle tactics: hidden blames (always well-intended of course, or were they?) and the use of guilt, just to get things done.

While I’m usually doing great, there are those times when doubt washes over me and brings back the old feelings that promptly take over. Am I being judged for the way I look? Am I being judged by my family for being a wedding photographer and ‘doing nothing with my masters degree in physiotherapy’? Am I being judged for pouring out my heart on the internet for anyone to read?

The key to overcoming all these doubts lies within one simple sentence:

[blockquote text=”I am good enough.” text_color=”” width=”” line_height=”undefined” background_color=”” border_color=”” show_quote_icon=”yes” quote_icon_color=””]

I know that hearing these words might resonate emotionally with you. They did with me. It’s an immensely powerful statement. For the longest time, I had a hard time saying it out loud. Some days I still do! But deep down inside I know it is true: I AM good enough. All I can do is move forward and learn to love myself. And that includes forgiving myself for doubting me.

I couldn’t think of a better photograph to accompany this blog post than this one. Thank you Kristina for shooting this portrait. Check out Kristina’s work right here.