fear of success

this was originally written in Sept 2012…. on my MFP blog…


or success is failure

this blog post is taken from a forum post here at MFP… most of it is my original writing… anything that isn’t will be properly attributed… I am combining it and refining it and replying to someone who I didn’t notice her point until just now when going through the post and I think needs to be addressed! (original text is in blue)

so I was “talking” with a friend… and he mentioned something that I have thought of for a while…. he said basically that he was afraid to go under 250 because he hasn’t been that skinny in a while… I wanted to share my response and get opinions…

I know what you mean… that 260 mark is kinda scary for me…. kind of like I have never been that skinny (except for on the way up) as an adult… and it’s like… I don’t know how to put this except for in a derogatory way… I have always identified with being fat… I am “the big girl” in a group of friends it’s always “the big red head” or “the big one with the kooky glasses” or “the big one with all the kids” you say that and people automatically can pick me out of a crowd… I call someone that I met somewhere on the phone and they don’t remember me? tell them “I was the big girl with the hiking sticks” and I get “OH I remember you now!!” I almost don’t know what to identify with if I am not the “big one”… and then… when I get below it… who am I?? I know intrinsically that I am the same person.. and I can just be “the one with the hiking sticks” or “the one with all the kids” or “the one with the van with all the bikes” or “the one who helped you with your math” or whatever… but it is almost like that is who I AM… I am trying very hard to reidentify myself… to not think in my head that I am “the big one” and I am getting there… but I wonder if that is why I sabotage myself… some deep seated fear of losing the only identity that I feel I have control over…


 I guess part of it is a knee jerk response… you know… people are going to call me fat so if I do it first then it doesn’t sting?? 

part of it has been a “comic relief” (when people ask what happened to my broken foot I usually say “I guess fat people aren’t supposed to move quickly” makes them laugh… and I kinda feel better because I was able to make them laugh… and then they don’t pity me for being a)broken and b)fat… )

part of it really is I look in the mirror and I don’t see beautiful… I KNOW in my spirit that I AM beautiful… but my flesh doesn’t see beautiful… I have been working on this for a long time… I am MUCH better at it… but I still find it difficult to change that self identity… I used to be very skinny… and I find myself comparing myself to the “high school” me rather than “50# heavier than now” me… and this was so much easier than 50# ago… but is so much harder than high school… so self comparisons make it difficult to change my self identity.


I guess I did mean fear of success… I absolutely LOVE E.R. (Elanor Rosevelt) one of my favorite saying I have adapted from her… she says “no one can make you feel inferior without your permission” and I say “no one can make you feel without your permission” because I used to say “you make me angry” or something… and it occurred to me (or rather it was pointed out to me and I understood it to be true) that being angry/hurt/sad/happy/whatever is a choice… and I choose how to react to people/things/situations… once I learned that it has been so much easier to deal with humans… sigh…  

another saying is from one of my nursing instructors… “look beyond the behavior” and was shortened to “look beyond” (whenever she said that I always had this mental image of rafiki from lion king and seriously had to suppress the giggles… NOT professional at all!!!) anyways… I try to look beyond whatever is going on to the feelings behind it… so someone at walmart was short with me? maybe she is having a stressful day and her boss just told her that she can’t go home to be with her sick kid because there is no one to replace her and she can’t even take a break now to go call him… I might be short too… I try to understand that other peoples actions aren’t always directed towards me because of me… sometimes it is just…. what do they call it.. collateral damage… 

I actually am to a point in my life where I almost like me… I enjoy my company (most of the time)… I have done a LOT of soul searching and trying to better myself… I had an 11 year marriage that was emotionally abusive end in 2006… and I have spent the last six years trying to figure out things… I know that all of the problems weren’t mine… but someof them were (first off… a lot of self esteem issues went into picking/staying with the man who abused me… and I have control issues among other things… not trying to dismiss his part in the failed marriage just trying to claim my failures and overcome them) but I knew I had to fix ME and like ME before I could even think of another relationship… or I would pick the same type of partner (I have had a history of that) 

I have these moments where I think about my behavior and seriously try to “look beyond the behavior”… I seriously examine things… and I tend to be very hard on myself… fact of the matter is… I do like myself (like I said most of the time)…

I have also started… whenever I feel <insert negative body image here>… I remind myself several things 1) God made all things glorious and He made me… and 2) the King is enthralled with my beauty… I am loved… loved enough that He died for me… and that just makes me feel I can’t even have words to explain how marvelous it makes me feel to think that… I just have goosebumps to think it… may sound a little corny (and uberchristian… but I don’t care)… but it really makes me feel lovely inside… and it makes me want to work even harder…



  MFP user Kalyska

“”People are going to come in and out of your life every day, why hold back from being comfortable with yourself just so someone will know who you are right off the bat? At the end of the day, the only identifier that really matters is how you see yourself and how your loved ones know you.””  


Dear Kalyska… you are so right… there is a point when I have to stop worrying about what other people think of me… I do not have to be the one who makes people laugh… I am not a comedianne… I am me… I am Jenn… mother… daughter…  sister… friend… nurse… caregiver… tutor… teacher… hiker… backpacker… biker… nature enthuist… camper… consumer… producer… bibliophile… and so much more…  the ME that is me… is all of this and so much more… the ME that is me… is loving and kind and caring and hard working and ethical and moral and good hearted and dedicated and loyal and so much more

the ME that is me… my innermost being… THAT ME… isn’t “the big one” She is so much more… and she needs to start living that way 🙂





so… MFP pals… I have a challenge for you… Romans 12.2 tells us (emphasis mine)

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I challenge you… to be transformed by renewing your mind… CHANGE The way you think about yourself… if someone else talked to/about you the way you talk to/about you… how would that go over? if someone else called me “the big one” I would throw a fit! I would NEVER allow it…. I would be all “how DARE you”…. but somehow because it was MY word… it was ok?? this makes ABSOLUTELY zero sense…


who is with me?


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