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Do We Really Fear Fear Itself?

I read something the other day which basically posited that the average human doesn’t actual fear failure or loss, we actually fear the emotional reactions to failure and loss.  I’ve long understood that a lot of my more destructive patterns of behavior stem from fear of failure, but maybe that really isn’t the case.

Is it failure I fear?  Is it the emotional impact of failure?

Honestly, I think neither are true.  The article was right in that it’s not the failure itself I’ve learned to shy away from.  Whether I succeed or fail in most things would be irrelevant except that failure carries consequence.

Emotional consequences, yes, but I’m more worried about the social consequences.

I don’t fear failure or shame.  I fear judgment.  I fear that one failure will bring exclusion or rejection.  After all, we live in a world where men can fail up but women rarely get second chances.

But do I fear the emotional impact of judgment, exclusion, and rejection more than those things themselves?

Absolutely.

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