Overcoming The Fear of Failure

Overcoming The Fear of Failure


I don’t get serious all that often, but when I DO….I tend to go pretty deep.  You’ve been warned. 🙂

These words have been sitting in the forefront of my mind for a while. I think about them often, I feel them all the time. They’re just always there. Now they’ll be on paper. Or keyboard….?

Let me begin with a little background of myself so you’ll understand why I’m writing these words.  At the birth of our first child, Madison, I was 21. I was but a babe myself. If you’re 21 and reading this, you’re a babe whether you believe that to be true or not. My husband and I decided that I would quit my job (of 8 months…..I was a babe and just entered my career) to stay home with her. It was absolutely the best decision. In the last 9 years, we’ve had a son as well and being home with these turkeys has just been the best life.

This fall my son will go to Kindergarten. (insert suffocating hyperventilating rocking fetal position screams here). While I wish he didn’t have to go to school and I could go on being the Mommy of these adorable youngins forever, where life is filled with pb & j picnic lunches on the living room floor, and Disney movies that I probably enjoy more than they do…… that’s just not reality. At some point I have to grow up. Sigh. I really never thought the day would come that I would be working full-time outside the home. I thought I could just keep popping out babies to avoid it altogether. Ok. Kidding. Sort of.

But then last May (2014) I began my business (it was called Repurposed Vintage Design back then). It started out as just a booth in an antique store. But over the course of 2014, it grew into doing shows, marketing online, building custom farm tables, designing gorgeous spaces, making friends, blogging, and so much more. It became my absolute heart. My passion for it grew as my business grew. It became an incredible source of joy for me. I’m a creative entrepreneurial minded person with crazy ambitions. Working a 9-5 has never appealed to me. Even when I did it, I was terrible at it. Starting this business wasn’t easy though. At all. It’s come with tons of reservations and doubts.  And sometimes suffocating fears. The kind of fear that makes your chest tighten. The kind that you numb with chocolate and burritos. Or the kind that keeps you awake at night and you ask yourself “what AM I DOING?!!?!”.

Fear is such a tricky thing, isn’t it? On one hand, it keeps us grounded. Without it we would all be jumping out of planes and crossing the street blindfolded. Fear keeps us from doing stupid things. Problem is, fear also keeps us from doing really great things. Fear is something I’ve battled a lot. I have a paralyzing fear of failure. Some are afraid of spiders, or clowns. I’m afraid of failure. I tend to pour so much of myself into the things I believe in, and have been let down by failure in the end more than I like to admit.

I think most people share this fear. It’s so easy to dream. Dreams are free. Dreams are fun. And it’s not scary to dream. It is however petrifying to follow your dreams. To step out of your cushy little box and into the unknown to go after your dreams. It’s understandable that it would be so scary – because it’s unchartered territory. You might lose your way. Or worse. You might fail.

But what’s really so bad about failure? If you fail, you learn. If you fail, you gain experience. If you fail, you grow. And isn’t that what life is really all about? Growing. Becoming better versions of ourselves. Discovering our purpose along a journey of successes and failures. It took me so long to see the beauty in failure. When I look back on the significant failures in my life, I can see clearly what I gained from each of them. I can see how that experience molded me into who I am today. And that makes me thankful for them.

Success is relative. My success may not be the same as yours. You have to roll with the punches when you step outside of that box and run for your dreams. They might pan out. They might not. My business might continue to grow and blow my wildest dreams out of the water. It might not. I know that at the end of the day I’ll give it everything I have, and if God intends for this particular dream to come true, then He will lead the way.

I used to say all the time “Failure isn’t an option”. Today I say “The FEAR of failure won’t control my destiny”. We can’t control our failures sometimes, but we CAN control the fear it holds over our lives.

Dream. Dream really stinkin big. And then drop kick your fears in the face and chase those dreams. You deserve that journey!!!!



7 thoughts on “Overcoming The Fear of Failure”

  • 1
    Connie Filippi on February 19, 2015 Reply

    Impressed, of course I was but I’ve always known you were talented. I imagine you may be surprised that your grandfather could be impressed as he doesn’t go beyond , oh that’s nice, when I ask his opinion concerning my paint jobs etc. When I got him past his favorite online games to check out your web site he went “oh wow.” You can post his comment anytime.

    • 2
      thewillowfarmhouse on February 23, 2015 Reply

      Wow! Thanks for sharing Grandma!! 🙂 That makes me smile!!! Love you both!!

  • 3
    Flavia on February 21, 2015 Reply

    Beautiful post Jennifer! I can totally relate. My son is going to Kindergarten this fall too. I’m hyperventilating too! And chasing a dream… thanks 🙂

  • 4
    Carole on February 22, 2015 Reply

    I just started following you, and I’m in love! Your style, talent, and frugalness is so alluring! I’m your newest fan! ❤️

    • 5
      thewillowfarmhouse on February 23, 2015 Reply

      Thank you SO much!!!!!!! 🙂 That’s SO sweet!!

  • 6
    Sarah @ Little Red Brick House on February 24, 2015 Reply

    Love this so much! Every word of it. I’m so glad I bumped into you on Instagram. I adore your style and feel like I can relate to you in so many ways.

    • 7
      thewillowfarmhouse on February 25, 2015 Reply

      Awww Thank you SO much Sarah!!! You’re so sweet!!!! 🙂 I ADORE your IG feed and absolutely love your style as well!! 🙂

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