The Fear

I am incredibly afraid of failing, and I am just as afraid of being successful as I am of failing.

Will Smith once said:

Greatness lives in the edge of destruction.

I have been through a lot. I have been homeless twice in my life (once when I was 4 years-old) and just recently at the age of 24. I don’t remember much of the experience as a child, but the recent experience was traumatizing. Laying down on a crappy bed in a cold dormitory, filled with women as unstable as I was, was another rock bottom moment for me. I thought it was the end for me.


But wait…

This was a familiar feeling.

I’ve felt this before...this feeling...that this was the end.

I felt it when:
I contemplated suicide by holding a full bottle of hydrogen peroxide as a 7 year old.
I didn’t do it because I knew that if I cut my potential off, I’d never know what I’d amount to. So I put the bottle away and pushed past the pain.

I felt it when:
I was suicidal on and off in high school between the ages of 15-18. I swallowed a crap load of pills on more than one occasion and nothing ever happened. I didn’t suicide again for another 3 or 4 years because I figured that my life maybe meant something and that it wasn’t my time. So, I pushed past the pain after trying to destroy myself.

I felt it when:
My heart was utterly broken (this has been discussed in a previous piece entitled “The Betrayal” and in its follow-up piece) and I couldn’t feel any happy emotions for a sustained amount of time for almost a year.

I felt it when:
Things between my mother and I got worse and I had to admit that the cheerful mother I once knew was gone.

I’ve faced Destruction many times and have gotten through it. I’ve never let it fully consume me though to the point where I lost myself. This is where success comes in. Every obstacle I’ve faced, I’ve moved past and have been able to reach a new level. However, this is where the fear of success comes in.

When it comes to failure, one knows that the only trajectory is to go down. And usually once you are down, there isn’t much farther down to go. However, success requires pain. The amount of pain depends on a person’s course in life. Some experience more pain than others. In my case, my life has mostly been full of pain. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but I am not. It still hurts. Sure, it doesn’t hurt as much as the first time I felt it, but it still hurts.

So, when it comes to success, you’d think that the trajectory would be a straight way up, but it’s not. Sometimes you have to descend a bit and then go up. Sometimes you shoot down and then are bolted back up, past where you were. Sometimes you remain on an even field before you ascend. The point is success is more of an unknown in terms of how it happens.

It’s all psychological really.

Failure is an unknown as well, however, it is much easier to sustain the mindset of failure than it is of success. Often times, it is easier to complain about what is going wrong than what is going right. It’s easier to complain about what you lack than be grateful for what you have. Success requires more work. Personally, the thought of constantly having to push past difficult obstacles to be successful is what frightens me. I know that when I reach a new level, the obstacles become harder. I am confident in my resiliency, but like anyone else, I would like to have a break.

However, this is life, and although it may be an obstacle course, there are no scheduled and times breaks.


Donte BrownComment