Fear of Failing... and why it's killing me.

I don't think I realized how deep my fear of failing is until recently.

Mike and I had been going through this discussion of whether or not we should keep Penny (our dog). She had been really difficult with potty training but that was expected. It was her biting the kids that was a persistent and worsening issue.

I came to realize that part of my adamant reason for wanting to keep her was because I was afraid I failed if I gave her up. I was equating my success with being able to train a puppy. I was wanting to impress people... see, I have five small children and a puppy. I can do it.

I didn't want to give up. I didn't want to quit. I didn't want to let it go. I read online. I gathered resources from the library. I tried. We were going to have a professional help us with training the dog...

But, before it went that far my parents found someone who wanted Penny. A deaf man had really become quite taken with that little bundle of love, energy, and bite. I knew it would be better for her to not be surrounded by hyper kids... I knew it was better for the kids to not be bitten... but I didn't want to be a quitter.

I get like that about weird things. I am afraid of what someone will think of my parenting. My ability to manage my home. My body. Etc. I fear the criticism. I fear not being accepted. So I will take something on like it's "do-or-die" that has no place having that kind of priority. I put so much pressure on myself. Pressure to be perfect. Pressure to impress.

I'm trying to wean myself off of this. Allow myself to be human. To err. Make mistakes. I am trying to be patient with myself. To do what's best for my family. It probably won't look the same for your family. For your parenting. For your house. Learning to revel in the intimate ways God made me and designed my family. My needs are different from yours. What works for me might not work for you.

So failing. Yeah, it will happen. But I'm not living for you approval... or even for my approval. I hope to live for God's approval. Live my life for an audience of One. But man, it's hard, isn't it?!


Sarah said…
Yes it is hard! But keep going because while you might not see it all the time your heart is so beautiful and that's what God sees (and actually, when you share it with us like this, so do we)...

And when your heart is as beautiful as yours is people kinda miss seeing the home that you think is untidy or the children that you think are playing up.

Jennifer you are such an encouragement to me through your writing and how you get through the day parenting five amazing children and have cared for a puppy this long as well absolutely astounds me!

Love you girlie girl

Lizzy said…
Jennifer, the Lord must have led me to this particular post tonight cuz i really needed to read it. thank you.

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