“The greatest barrier to success is the fear ofPrior to writing this entry I searched for my quote, and decided to look in the appropriate category of fear. The number of fear quotes on this website [thinkexist.com] was nearly as popular as friendship or family quotes. It’s not surprising or at least comforting to some degree that many people have their own phobias. My phobia just happened to be listed as numeral uno on the list.
failure.” Sven Goran Eriksson
Perhaps fear of failure is one common to many people, but suffice to say it is my greatest nemesis. However, my fear is as much a phobia lurking inside of me as it is something of my own conscious decision: I choose to be afraid of failing.
Last weekend, as I drove to work which I do part-time on the weekends as a banquet server to an upscale facility in my hometown I again began to feel the sinking notion that I’m doing nothing with my degree. And it’s not as if I “never did” anything with my bachelor degree. For four years I worked in public relations, copywriting, editing, page layout and design, and basic graphic design for an alternative energy company. Two of those four years I worked while attending school part-time so I could finish my degree in my four-year goal, and pursue my career full-force. After graduating, I stayed with the firm and traveled quickly up the ladder to be working alongside the CEO, vice-chairman and several VPs of the company doing pertinent projects to the mission of their ground workings in alternative energy.
Then… kids happened. Well my kids didn’t just happen. Since the get-go of my relationship with my husband I inherited the step-mom badge, but after a few years of marriage I finally got pregnant and later determined that I wanted to stay home to raise them. And so for the time being, in light of our ever-fabulous economy I am working part-time in the restaurant industry’s ever draining environment on the weekends so my husband can stay home while I work, and vice-versa.
After working for a couple of hours last Saturday, at least a dozen times I passed the table of name cards for the two-hundred plus wedding we were catering. Normally I scour over these names, although I rarely ever know any of the guests. A half an hour passed and the guests arrived. I passed a woman chatting to another guest who appeared to be mother of the bride or groom. I did a triple take as I noticed I knew this woman as the mom of a girl I graduated with from high school. I dashed back to the card table, and scanned the names of the guests. My stomach began to churn and my hands sweat profusely as I realized that literally over a third of the people would undoubtedly know me. Even worse, they were the “people you could do without seeing until your 25th reunion, but even then it’s too soon” classmates.
It was an awkward night of doting over my guests and serving or clearing the plates of the irritating twits I graduated with over eight years ago. It was the continual “So you’re a… waitress now?” My confidence fizzled when I uttered “Well, I stay home with my boys.. Full time. And I do this on the weekends.” Stabbing myself in my eye with a red-hot poker was more inviting that being present. Although I have the utmost respect for anyone who commits to the restaurant industry and does it well, I cannot continue loathing the fear of failure. I am not saying that being a server is beneath me. I’m just through being too damn scared to pursue my writing career on my own. Sadly enough, it’s far easier to travel on the beaten path of ease than it is to take a trail of greater resistance. And if it’s nothing but the squeamish feeling I had from seeing old classmates again then fine, but it’s time for me to face my fears head on and pursue my career.