“You must learn driving, it’s very important. Go and clear driving theory test” my husband coax me every time he has to come to pick me up for important appointments and he runs late for his meetings.
I know he is right but can’t muster enough courage to give it a try after I failed my previous attempt just by two marks. I am scared of one more failure that would put me in a tight spot.
Well if you ask me the reason I would say “Expectation“. When I see people around me expect more and more out of me especially when there is a test of my capabilities and pair of eyes judging me, I fumble and finally crumble. Huge expectations instill fear in me.
It happened numerous times in my life. In school and college when my parents, teachers and fellow students expected me to come out with flying colours (read topper) I secured a score which was not par excellence.
I felt cold sweat dampening my palms when I fail to explain a lesson properly or derive correct solution to a problem while teaching students because I knew they were expecting me to know everything, they paid me for my expertise.
I knew what was expected from me, was well prepared but the fear of failure, a question “what if I couldn’t match the bar set” made me develop cold feet. Sleepless nights to restlessness to fall in appetite – these are few things that I experience when I have to deliver.
Even today the situation is no different. Let me give you an example: My husband thinks that I am really good in French as compared to him. So high is the level of his confidence in me ( which I appreciate for sure) that he would hand over to me any official document and demand a translation so that we could proceed. And when such demand has to be met instantly few thoughts flash in my mind ” what would happen if I fail to give an exact or nearly exact message? He would surely question me what happened to your knowledge of language which you acquired in language classes. What would be my image hereafter if I fail now?” ( All these thoughts before finally resorting to Google Translate 😀). But the fact is my knowledge is intermediate (this is in typical CV style). I don’t have a vast french vocabulary but I manage things confidently when amidst complete strangers with no one to judge me.
“Expectations reduce the joy of receiving” it’s a well-known fact of life. In my case it’s not an exception but I fear lest it would make me stand in a different light in the eyes of those who expected from me – perhaps as “Useless“. I fear of being the reason of others’ unhappiness who kept their faith invested in me.
Who or what shall be blamed is my dilemma – Their expectations? My inability to deliver when it matters? My constant battle to be perfect in others’ view of me? Inability to relax and let things go and take their own course?
Will I ever be able to help myself ? May be yes. One thing I have realised so far is that my fear to deliver is a result of me trying to fill in every shoe or my own failure to compare with others the right way. I have to inculcate confidence in myself. I have to believe strongly that I am unique, something others might not be, something which is meant to be rejoiced. I must take pride in the fact that people around me trust and expect me to perform. I must stop seeking approval of everyone. There’s no other way to break the shell of “Fear” around me.
But this self belief is definitely an uphill task for me. And your support is indispensable.
Even now when I am penning down my innermost fears I am fearing how it would be received.