FOF & FOS (Part 2) . . .

What could be more insidious than Fear of Failure (FOF)?  

Can anything really be worse than that? Not worse, but just as debilitating. What we have here with is an affliction of the mind. 

The other side of a two-faced coin is where FOS resides! 

Once rooted in the mind, this unceasing, and unyielding fear engulfs the individual, rendering him or her powerless to act. 


Can someone really fear being successful I hear you muttering to yourself. Naturally, it is easy to understand why someone would fear being a failure, but it seems unfathomable that anyone would loathe success. 

Let me illustrate how this fear can consume the average person. 

A young lady expressed the desire to lose weight by a certain date. The first question I asked her was how she came by the date. The question took her by surprise. She thought I was going to ask her how many pounds she wanted to lose. 

My query had another tact. If I knew what motivated her to pick that date, then I could determine what special meaning it held for her. Armed with that information I could ensure that the goal was feasible and more importantly attainable.  

After careful consideration of her objectives, I laid out a plan for its attainment. She had taken the first step and decided what she wanted. As we conversed some more, I was able to get her to agree to the second step, deciding what she was willing to give up to get what she wanted. 

Although I had gone slow and deliberate to ward off the impending purveyor of doom, it all came to a crashing halt, when I laid out the plan and set her intended date for its achievement.  

The color immediately left her face. She stammered profusely. She became incoherent. The litany of reasons which she seemed to conjure up at will amounted to nothing more than excuses, not because she would fail, but what would she do if she succeeded. 

I would have to buy all new clothes . . . I don’t have the money for that. 

My husband would become possessive . . . He would be jealous of my svelte figure. 

They will talk behind my back at work. . . They’ll gossip that I had liposuction.  

I watched as she unraveled before my eyes.  

Her fear was real.

She had convinced herself that she did not deserve to be emaciated. The pressure of achieving her fitness goal was overbearing, not because it could not be attained, but because she would have to maintain it. 

Men would gawk at her, she insisted. She claimed it would please her at first, but then she would become overwrought while trying to maintain her new image. 

The insidious nature of this particular fear. 

Could I allay it and lead her to successfully achieve her weight loss goals . . . ?

B.M.Booth (NASM-CPT) 


1440 . . .

I am not sure how many of you have a neighbor like mine, but after a brief description of this person’s character, you will surely recognize someone in your sphere with similar traits. 

We have a spacious backyard, which is fenced in on all sides. Three sides by us and since our neighbor was the first to put up a fence, we did not see any reason to put the remaining side up against his. The front of the property is where this story begins, since the demarcation line has a quarter that belongs to my neighbor Joe.

My obsession with things being neat, invariably leads me to mow the quarter of the lawn that belongs to Joe, even though he would not do the same for me. The fence means we do not see into each other’s backyard as we had been accustomed to, so conversation between us became infrequent. 

Joe is a keen observer of everything that happens on our street. When conversing with him, I am astounded at the sordid details he provides, without prompting I may add of the other residents that live on our street. He has complimented me on purchases, acknowledged the fact that we got another dog, and highlighted the many contractors that came to work on our home.  

Joe is your typical neighborhood watchdog. In some respect it is nice to have such a neighbor, but for the reasons I have just outlined as they pertained to me, I try to keep my association with Joe as minimal as possible.  

This has proven difficult because he is always around on the days, I choose to mow the lawn. Normally he would wave, and go into his house, but on mowing days, he feels compel to talk, while I end up mowing his quarter of the lawn. 

“Crazy amount of rain we’re having.” 

“The old adage is probably true; April showers bring May flowers.” 

“You could be right,” said Joe. “Lots of strange things growing in the neighborhood.” 

“You don’t say,” I deadpanned. “Hopefully, all in people’s garden?” 

“I’m not one to talk, but mark my words, strange goings on.” 

“OK, Joe.” 

“I see you’ve been burning the candles at both ends.” 


“I must do the same. I need the extra income.” 

“Joe, what are you talking about?” 

“Aren’t you moonlighting?” 

“What would make you think?” 

“Where else would you be going at 4 in the morning?” 

“What is more amazing is that you are up at that time. You are right. You should join me. An early morning workout would do wonders for you.” 

“Gym! At 4 in the morning!” 

“Have you ever tried.” 

“No sane person is getting up at that time. Not to go the gym.” 

“If they wanted to change their physique. What about you? You are always complaining about one body ache or another.” 

“I am fine. Besides, no time.” 

“If you can be up at 4 to see me on my way out of the house, then you have plenty of time.” 

“I was curious. Why you were leaving so early. Two times is normal, but 5 times in one week.” 

“I see how that would pique your interest?” 

I went on to explain that I was trying to develop lean muscle mass. The goal was to use progressive overload in my strength training to challenge my body and allow my musculoskeletal system to get stronger.  

I normally refrain from getting technical, but thought by using that approach, it would cause Joe to become disinterested and return home. Surprisingly, it had the opposite effect, with him planting himself on the hood of his car. 

I decided to tell him the story of 1440 . . . 

B.M.Booth (NASM-CPT)