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)