Remember that game? No one likes being stuck in the middle
I’m 7.5lbs down. I should be happy about that. I mean, I am. I can feel my jaw when much more readily when I rest my chin on palm. My belt is on its last notch and will soon need to be replaced. And my wife and friends have already noticed. I should be happy, excited even… But I’m not.
Why is that?
I am both afraid of failure and of success.
Yes. Both. At the same time.
I know I’m not alone in this, but it still sucks.
Fear of Failure
I can’t get excited because I’ve failed so many times before. So much weight lost and regained. So many starts and stops. I’ve wanted to completely give up so many times, but I can’t. I can’t give up on my wife and my son. My wife has been so incredibly supportive of me, I can’t even tell you. I’ve never experienced such loving support as I have from my wife. So thankful (though, I’m sure I never show it enough).
The real question, is am I learning from my failures and making adjustments, so that, at least if I do fail again, I fail forward (as John Maxwell would say) and don’t keep doing the same mistakes over and over.
Fear of Success
This is actually bigger for me, but is tied to the fear of failure. When I picture what it would be like to succeed, I get very excited. I would be so happy, so energetic, so joyous at having accomplished this goal, I don’t even know how I’d react. There is of course always the danger of loosing focus and regaining the weight. Maintenance is always a struggle, but failure does not have to be inevitable.
Ultimately of course the reason I don’t want to get excited is I’m afraid of what I’ll have to do when I reach my goal weight. I’ll be out of excuses. I’ll have to perform. I’ll have to do that big race or whatever else I use my weight as an excuse for. That’s why I’m afraid of success, because I’m comfortable being the Andrew that has excuses for anything he doesn’t want to do. What would happen if I proved that the excuses were lies and not true? I guess I could come up with new ones, and I’m sure I’d be tempted too. No one would let me get away with it though. There’s almost an unwritten expectation that if you achieve such a monumental goal, that you will live to the fullest. And why not, you’ve bought yourself a new lease on life.
I’m scared because I think I can be great. I think I can do great things. I can be a great father, maybe even inspire others to change. But, it scares me, so much. I’m so used to living in the land of low self-esteem that I don’t know what I’d do if I actually believed in myself. If I loved who I was and was actually happy.
This is my struggle. I struggle against fear. Fear of failure and success. Remember playing monkey in the middle? Ya, I didn’t like being the monkey either.