Fear of Failure

I’m afraid I’m going to fail a class that I am taking.  I’m not in a degree program.  I have a day job that pays some of the bills. I’m so afraid of failing the class, I can’t focus.  I can’t comprehend what I am reading…  At the moment, living feels like waiting to get a bad grade, which would be anything less than an A.  Where and how did I come to believe that anything less than an A is a failure?  Nonetheless that’s what I fear.  Anything less than an A would feel I was inadequate, not smart enough, not really the kind of student who could go onto do doctorate work and finish the degree…because I know I can start a PhD program.  Because I’ve been there and done that.  But could I get into another PhD program (when some people don’t even get into one PhD program) and finish the program?  Am I too old now?  Twenty years ago I applied to PhD programs.  Started a program the following year that I couldn’t finish.  This fall, I am planning on applying to PhD programs.  I’ve never been so uncertain of my abilities as when I think about whether I could get through a PhD program.

Only way I know how to combat failure is to pretend that I failed already.  Rather, to imagine that I failed already.  Then the rest is what I wouldn’t have had if I froze up in fear.  I’m going to imagine…

how badly do i want it?

really badly! i saw a preview of a movie with russell crowe where in 24 hr period he has to fight for everything worth living for in his life. likewise, more than anything in the world, i want to get into a philosophy of religion phd program for next fall. when i say more than anything in the world, i mean just that. could i live with myself if i don’t get in anywhere? yes. would i be happy? no. i don’t think i ever felt as sure and focused about what to do with my life as much as i feel about pursuing philosophy of religion degree! my life doesn’t depend on it. my sanity does. i really hope and pray and will do my best to get into a program for next fall. that’s the plan anyhow.

surprisingly

surprisingly, i have more will power or something than i believed i was capable of. my friend who i am not dating but is more than a friend (i don’t know what that means either) and i decided that it would be best for us to put breaks on, not full stop but slow down. timing was perfect. i have the most important task of my life to apply to schools so i can live a more fulfilling life ahead of me. and so having more time for myself rather than less serves me well. everything always comes down to whether something contributes to improve the quality of my life, i.e., help me to learn and to teach. in the past, i decided not to date or to stop dating when i judged i would be more productive on my own. do most girls think like this? i have a sense that the way i think may not be how most women think. and yet, it’s the most natural way and most sensible way i navigate through my life. not that i knew this would happen, but my new friendship/relationship is working well, surprisingly so.

what i was made for

i called my mom this morning and talk to her for a long time. i realized as i was talking to her that on days i study i am not anxious, i feel pretty good over all and i am motivated to do other things as well. but on days i don’t study, i feel anxious, feel apathetic and unmotivated about everything! was i made to study? i’m beginning to believe that. i think God made me in such a way that i would find purpose and meaning in life when i study and not when i don’t. it isn’t even a matter of how good i am academically. studying for me is a matter of survival it seems. wonder how many people are made the way i was made. i’m a nerd and i’m proud of who i am. 🙂