Day 7: A fear I have overcome
Thinking of this idea for today’s mini-challenge, I really struggled to think of a fear I had overcome recently. I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of a lot of things, but the fears I have aren’t new, they’ve been with me for a while now. For example, when I was about 8 years old, I fell off a climbing frame (the monkey bars actually :L 🐒), and I broke my arm. I don’t know if it is because of this(although I can’t think of any other possible reason), but I have a fear of heights. When I was blessed with being able to visit Paris with some friends last summer and having the opportunity to climb up the Eiffel Tower… I chickened out. I’m also afraid of people finding out about my dark side, perhaps of my friends finding my blog and reading it. I try my hardest every day to keep most people out of the darker corners of my existence. And I’m still afraid of public speaking. Sometimes I try to make myself overcome this fear by challenging myself to put myself out there and speak in front of groups of people, but mostly I just accept it.
There is one fear which I could think of that I have actually made progress with. I wouldn’t say I’ve entirely overcome it, but I’ve come quite far even over the past year. It’s the fear of failure, of not being perfect.
If you look over some of my older posts, I mention my struggle with eating, with anorexia and bulimia, how I used to be so consumed with how I could make myself as thin as possible, and lose all the weight I felt I needed to lose to match the idea of ‘perfection’ in my head. I have always struggled with being a perfectionist, there are certain facets of my personality which mean I can be quite obsessive. I can become entirely possessed with the idea that I must perform a certain way or look a certain way and it is a real struggle in my mind to let that go.
I have always been a high achiever academically, I guess it runs in the family to a certain extent, but I took it to another level. I would stay up late and overwork myself all hours of the day and night to get those grades I ‘needed’. Most people tend to take 3 full A-levels. I took 5, and extra exams on top of that which I didn’t actually need. I was terrified of failing. It’s ironic, really, the fear of failure is what drove me to it. In my first year of A-levels, I did extremely well, I actually received the awards for the highest marks for the year overall for Spanish and Physics. But the weight of this fear of failing was bearing too heavily on my shoulders and my mental health was fraying (to say the least) at the edges. Over the course of year 13, I struggled against intervention from various parties, not willing to accept that maybe things had gone too far and I needed help to get through the year. But I did need the help. I wasn’t well. I know that had I not been dealing with those demons in my mind that year, perhaps I could have achieved all A*’s. As it is, I did pretty well, but I failed my first exam ever that year too.
It was a real blow for me. It wasn’t even an exam I needed to take, but one that I opted to take, yet it was an eternal blot on my transcript I couldn’t erase. I needed to make peace with that, and I think I have. I don’t like to fail things, but I have learned that it’s okay not to be perfect, it’s okay to make mistakes and an exam result cannot define me as a person.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
(2 Timothy 1:7)
God bless, take care xoxox