FEAR OF FAILURE:
One of the fears I have dealt with throughout the years is my fear of failure. I know I look brave and I am. But what is being brave? It’s doing things scared right? That is exactly how I have gone forward whenever I went after a dream or a goal that I knew was way over my ability level.
Even so, I want to tell you about the first time I did something terrified. I’m the 4th model in the photo to the left. Do I look terrified? Well, I was and here’s the back story of how I got there.
I was the fourth born in a family of twelve children. We had all we needed but not all that we wanted. We all grew up to be independent, self-sufficient kids because anyone who has grown up in a large family knows that if you wanted something you had to get it for yourself. As a teenager, I would listen to my friends plan to go to college and dream about their futures. Envious of their dreams, I wondered what my future could possibly look like. I didn’t feel very smart or special in any way and I didn’t have their resources or know how to get them to pursue my “dream job”. My low self-esteem and poverty mind set was keeping me from dreaming too big.
Around the age of 16, I started to get some attention from boys and started to think that maybe I wasn’t as ugly as I felt. Around the age of 19, I was with my boyfriend when we happened upon a local fashion show and stopped to watch it. He looked at me and asked, “why can’t you do that?” watching the girls walk the runway, I had been thinking the same thing. His question was all I needed to encourage me to dream that maybe I could be a model.
Researching it, I found some expensive but affordable modeling classes and I signed up. There was a beautiful older women who taught their classes and she took a special interest in me. She thought I had something! When the classes came to an end, she advised me to go to another modeling agency in Cleveland where she believed I could find work. I approached this agency and they accepted me but wanted more money to take photos of me. I paid the money and had the photos taken.
When the class was finished, the agency gave me a list of local photographers to call. I was to show them my portfolio to see if they would hire me to work for them. I knew these photographers could make or break my dream and I didn’t want to face that reality. I also knew that if I didn’t go, I would be the one who killed my dream. It took all the courage I had to walk into those photographers’ studios, but I decided to go for it.
Was I shocked when one of them called my agency to book me. Then my shock turned into panic. I had little to no self confidence in my abilities but knew instinctively that this booking could be my first and maybe my last chance to realize my dreams of becoming a model.
The day of the booking arrived, and I was so relieved that there were three other models besides myself that would all be in the same photo. I would not have to be the center of everyone’s attention. I also knew that if I looked the way I felt inside (terrified) that they would never call me back so I had a decision to make and I made it. I decided that I was going to go for it. I was going to look confident and excited. It paid off because that week they called my agency back and booked me for a bridal campaign and soon enough I was in the paper 2 to 3 times a week for the next two years.
Since then, I have been faced with many decisions to leave my comfort zone to try something new and each time, I make the decision to go for it. Not because I am overly confident but because I don’t want to live life afraid.
One of the first scriptures the Lord gave me was Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” God has always made a way for me when there was no way. He has always helped me do something I thought was beyond my abilities wanting me to trust in His ability instead. He wants me to go for it. He wants my dreams to be big to reflect how big He is. When raising my children, I always asked them this question. “How big is your God? That is how big your dreams should be.” I asked them this question not knowing I was going to have to show them I believe this for myself. It would have been so easy to have just cheered them on, but God wanted me to show them that I believed this for my own life. When we go for it, we make our Papa God proud.