Is Fear of Failure Blocking Your Success?

Scared child

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What are the roadblocks to success;  part 2

I am on a journey of self discovery. I am glad you are coming with me.

One of the roadblocks to success is the fear of failure. This is a common fear of the procrastinator. There are many reasons I avoid a task and the first one I am looking at is the fear of failure.

I wonder what this fear is like and where does it come from?

Fear of failure is the main reason for the lack of courage to take on a task or start something. This fear is crippling. It is often overwhelming.

I know, if I am honest with myself, I have a lot of insecurities. I am afraid that,  if I take on a job or position and fail, others will know I am a failure.

We all seem to have fears of some kind or another. We can deal with other fears in the same way as we deal with the fear of failure. Perhaps you are afraid of heights or snakes.

I have to ask myself. “What is the root of my fear?”  I was not born with it, I have learnt it. If I have learnt it, then I must unlearn it.

The first step is to name the fear.        I found that it is easier to figure things out when I write them down. I use a journal but scrap paper works too (then you can rip it up or burn it to hide the evidence).

On the top write: My Fear is__________

  1. list your fears: use a separate page for each fear.  (heights, failure, spiders, public speaking, etc.) think hard, these are your private thoughts.
  2. think about when these fears take hold of you and write that next to each fear. ( for example: heights: in elevators, on a ladder.      failure: at work when given a new task, starting a diet.)
  3. spend some time writing down some experiences you have had with this fear.  Go into detail. Ask yourself : Were there any times when this fear gripped me and stopped me from doing something I wanted to do?  ———or something I needed to do? ——did it stop me from enjoying myself? ———–Who was there? ———-What was going on? ———–How did I respond?
  4. try to go back in your mind to the time you first experienced the fear. What happened?——— Who was there? ———What did they say?———- What did they do? ———–How did you feel? ————What did you do?

I am going to go and make my list and ponder this for a day or so. Please come back and we will deal with this later (Is this procrastination?)

I will leave you with this quote:      Success is a ladder that can not be climbed with your hands in your pocket. – Author Unknown

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What are the roadblocks to success?


Image by cheerfulmonk via Flickr

I had great intentions. I am wondering what happened. This past week has passed by without me. I have not done the things I want to do. I have procrastinated. No diet, No writing. No projects completed. So I have to ask myself the question:

What is holding me back?

I wonder how many others are feeling a roadblock on the road to success? Perhaps if I ponder some questions on this blog, others may take a serious look at their own roadblocks.

Procrastination.  Simply putting off what we should do. The big question is why?

We are not born procrastinators. We learn the behaviour.  Whatever the reason, I have learnt it well. I confess, I am a procrastinator.

There is a lot of Psychiatric talk about why we procrastinate. I feel it boils down to just a few things.

  1. Fear of failure.
  2. Lack of motivation.
  3. Lack of direction.
  4. Feeling overwhelmed.

I am procrastinating now so I will ponder these questions and more as I blog in the next while. Please go through this with me. Ask questions, give me suggestions and give me feedback. I need the encouragement.

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Tragic situation the Year I Was Born

My parents lived in India at this time and actually, being British, were forced to leave.

Hawaii – Maui – Banyan Tree Square

“I am so scared.” Priya huddled closer to her mother, unable to hold back the tears. Her father had pulled the truck off the crowded road as evening fell. He drove slowly into a grove of banyan tree in hopes of remaining undetected for the night.

It has been a long and treacherous journey. Fifteen year old Priya, the eldest of the five children and the only girl, tried to be brave. Her mind was tormented with the picture of the train they encountered the day before. It carried some of the Hindu refugees from the newly formed country of Pakistan, into what remained of India. The train full of her fellow countrymen had been attacked by a roving band of Muslims and many, too many to count, lay dead amongst the injured and dying. The horrific sight left Priya paralyzed with fear.

The family curled up together in the back of the truck for the night. Two of Priya’s uncles travelled with them. They were as yet unmarried and joined the family to help protect them on the long trek.

It was a very dark night. It was uncomfortable and very hot. Priya tried to sleep but was unable to quiet her mind. She whispered to her mother, “Why is this happening? I don’t understand.” Her mother was lost for words to comfort her daughter.

“I know” she agreed. ”This journey is not what we had planned. Our life was so much better before Independence, before they decided to split our country in two.”

Priya cried into her mother’s shoulders. “I miss living with the Tilley’s; they would make sure we were safe.”

Her mother held Priya close. The whole family regretted having to move from the home they had in Rawalpindi. They lived in the servant’s cottage behind the big house, it was small, but they managed. The children were able to go to school. Both parents worked for the same family. She helped with the children and her husband looked after the house. All of that was gone now. The British have all gone back to England leaving them without a home and without work. All of the Hindu’s were moving to India because Pakistan was now a Muslim country. The news of Mahatma Ghandi’s assassination reached them a few days before. How horrible that such a great and peace-loving man should be killed so violently. He was shot by a Hindu fanatic. The Hindu religion has tolerance as its cornerstone and it is the wish of many, including Ghandi, that all Indian people could live side by side, without trying to change the others beliefs or lifestyle.

”Why don’t we think about a happy time?” her mother suggested. She wanted to think about good things as a distraction from the nightmare they were living. Priya thought about the festival of Diwali. It a time of celebration, but this year was different. It felt like the world she knew was forever changed. She pictured the great meal they shared as they worshipped Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. She remembered filling the diya with oil and placing each one carefully in the windows and along the path outside the small house.

Her father and two uncles took turns watching through the night as the family slept. Priya slept fitfully waking many times with nightmares. It was a difficult night for all of them but they remained undetected and safe. The sun rose with a spectacular display of fire in the east signalling the family it was time to rouse. Breakfast consisted of chapattis and dahl. They shared a few mangos they were able to find. After their meal, Priya and her brothers, climbed into the back of the truck. Her uncle’s also rode in the back, keeping watch while her father drove. They were so fortunate that the British family had left them with this truck and enough money to make the journey to Delhi.

Priya looked at her sari, now dirty and torn. Her mother asked her not to change. She said that when they arrived in Delhi, they would be able to bathe and put on fresh clothing. Priya could not wait. She was hungry. There was very little food and she let her brothers have part of her share. They were so young and she loved them dearly.

As they bounced along the road, Priya thought about her friends, now separated in this mass exodus. She wondered if she would ever see any of them again. Tears welled up in her eyes as she remembered her school and the fun they had. As she wiped the tears from her eyes she was startled by the sound of a gunshot. Her father picked up speed and they were all told to lay down. Priya grabbed the youngest of her brothers and held him close as she lay beside Aaryan, the ten year old. More gunfire and the sounds of shouting and crying filled the air. Priya trembled in fear.

“Please don’t let us die” she whispered softly, hoping that one of her gods would hear her. She knew about the God of the British. The British family told her about how He would save her. Crying out in desperation, she pleaded with Him now, bargained with Him. The world grew silent around her. All she could hear was the sound of the truck. Lifting her head, she asked her uncle what was going on. “It looks as if we are safe for now.” He replied as he sat down on the side of the truck. “We will keep watch, you stay down.”

Priya could see the long line of people trudging along the side of the road. Some had animals to help them carry the load. Many had carts overflowing with their possessions. Others carried baskets and pushed wheelbarrows. Their faces all told the same story. It was the story of fear. It was the story of weariness and hopelessness.. The band of roving bandits that they had encountered was Hindu this time. The people that lay dead on the road were Muslim. This bothered Priya. She thought about her Muslim friends. Why not just let everyone move in peace. It was hard enough to leave everything she knew, but seeing so much death along the way was horrifying. It was more than she could bear. She held her brother closer, much to his dismay.

The journey for Priya’s family ended a few days later. They arrived in Delhi late in the afternoon. They found a place to camp for the night in an area designated for the refugees who had fled from their homes.

The partition of the country into the Hindu country of India and the Muslim Pakistan cost over a million lives. A conservative estimate counts over twelve million homeless after the partition. Over seven million Hindus had to leave Pakistan and an equal number of Muslims were forced to leave everything behind and head for a new life in Pakistan. The Partition was a highly controversial arrangement, and remains a cause of much tension on the subcontinent today.

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Do recurring dreams haunt you?

I have a recurring dream. I do not remember my dreams every night or even every week. In fact I rarely remember a dream. Yet there is one dream that haunts me from time to time. It is a dark and stormy night. (cliché, I know) I am driving along a lonely road in the country. It is windy and raining, lightning and thunder split the night. A tree falls across the road, crushing the back of my car. I manage to open the door and get out and find myself frightened and alone. I am soaking wet with nowhere to go. The storm gathers strength. I start to wander along the road. I am in a strange place, nothing is familiar. I see a light on in a house in the distance so I make my way along the road and up the drive way. I must be injured because I have to crawl, actually drag myself forward. It takes a long time and I am filthy, cold and scared. I manage to get to the steps of the porch but no further. I cannot drag myself up the stairs. I have no strength to call out for help. I feel as if all hope is gone. This is when I wake up.

I have had this dream for many years now, not often but still it is worrisome.

What do you think it means? Is there something I need to do?  Is there an issue I need to resolve?

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Drumming soothes the soul


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Drumming awoke a primal call within my soul. There is a desire within each of us to make music. We each have a creative side which makes us uniquely different. Music has never been my specialty. I cannot play an instrument and my singing voice has deteriorated over time. Today something stirred at my core. I attended a community drum circle. I went once last year and, when I saw the notice, I felt compelled to go again.

I walked into the room alone. A few people were already drumming quietly, so I found a place in the circle with my borrowed drum. I listened to the beat. The rhythm started to speak to me. It felt like a pulse, a heartbeat deep within.

The drum beats were in rhythm with my heart.


Once everyone gathered, the leader took over and taught a few basic rhythms to follow. There were people of all ages there yet we played as one, connected by the beat of the drum. I felt the beat in my hands, they were pounding out the rhythm easily, as if part of something bigger. I could feel my heartbeat join in the music.

The two hours went by very fast. There was a time of following one rhythm, louder, then softer. there was a time of playing one of three parts, all together, that same pulse beat flowed through. At another time, each person was given the chance to perform an eight beat solo before the group came back in with the pulse beat.

I found this experience soothing. In the past week I have been mad at myself because I am failing at sticking to a diet. I had a disappointing email, telling me that the class I signed up for has been cancelled. I have been faced with this coming winter and wondering what to do with myself now that I am not working. Drumming this afternoon allowed me to let go of these small anxious thoughts as well as some bigger worries. I found myself relaxing and letting the beat calm that inner turmoil and I feel good. I feel relaxed. I feel ready for the new week with a renewed desire to tackle the diet and exercise program I so desperately need.

The ball is waiting patiently for me.

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The cat walk

Keeping fit is one of my retirement goals. Last evening, my husband and I decided to go for a long, quick-paced walk. Taking the dog is mandatory. Just one look at her face, seeing the excitement in her wagging tail, we knew we could not escape without her.

Did someone use the "W" word? Did they? I heard it.. I know I did...Oh Yeah.. Lets go...

Guilt would ruin our walk.  Sidney is not an easy dog to walk, she is so full of energy, she only wants to run.

Sidney runs non-stop.

We were approaching the end of the block when we noticed Clover following us.

Cats only like to sleep and eat... or do they?

We crossed the street, hoping the cat would lose interest. Her little paws picked up speed. She wanted to go for the walk too. We knew we should have made sure she didn’t get out. We waited for her to catch up. We had Sidney pulling us forward and the cat slowing us down. Cats do not walk nicely on the sidewalk. Cats are never in a hurry, preferring to investigate each garden, casually strolling behind us. Cats always want to be in control. I had Sidney’s leash and tried to slow her down. The best way I have found to do that is to make her sit. Our fitness walk deteriorated rapidly. John picked up the cat and struggled to carry the wriggling creature as we continued.

"just pat me, feed me, let me in, let me out, but don't ever pick me up"

We changed our route and headed home. The cat scratched John’s face and leapt to the ground. The dog tried to chase her, almost pulling me off my feet.

I handed John the leash and decided I would catch the cat. Have you ever tried to catch a cat? One must be sneaky, stealthy. John walked further along the sidewalk, pretending all was cool. Clover followed half a block behind. I stalked the cat. Hiding behind a tree, I waited for her to pass. One slight movement from me and Clover dashed. I hid behind a mailbox… waiting for the right moment… one step and she took off running.  This was not going easy. Giving up, we let her follow for a few blocks. She was further behind now and difficult to spot in the dark. Sidney was not happy. Slow is not in her vocabulary. Suddenly a car turned onto the street, the cat dashed across in front of it and dove under a tree. Now I was mad. Enough of this nonsense. I grabbed for Clover and surprised myself when I actually had her in my arms. I tucked her into my jacket and we hurried home.

With both animals secure in the house, it was time for our exercise. We started off once more. Then we heard it… “meow”. What now? … we turned. Lucky was right behind us, determined that we notice him. We did not worry, Lucky is our wandering and very independent TomCat, always on the prowl.

Lucky has battle scars from his night prowls.

He would not follow us, he had places to go, cats to see, battles to win. We turned the corner. Lucky in hot pursuit. Unbelievable, he was following right behind us. This was too much, we simply headed home in frustration, wondering if the cats really did notice we were on holiday for four months. Did the cats actually miss us? Do cats really care who looks after them? Do cats wonder if we are leaving again?

Book-end hair-balls relaxing after their evening walk.

You guys are no fun... I wanted to run... I wanted to have some fun...

Next time, we will be more diligent to sneak off without any animals.

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Choosing a Diet.

Number one on my “to do” list, as I begin my new retired life, is choosing a diet. I have started to do some research, I decided to be an informed consumer. I want something I can stick to. I have a few rules which makes comparing and choosing harder.

My simple rules are:

  1. A diet cannot be boring or I will not stick it out.
  2. A diet needs to include all the food groups. (Is chocolate a food group?)
  3. A diet should not cost me any money. (I want this to be a lifelong plan)
  4. A diet should not include small, frozen dinners.
  5. A diet should include easy to prepare, real food that I can serve my family, including a hungry teenage boy.
  6. A diet will not include pills or crazy drink concoctions.

I googled “diet plans” and “choosing the right diet” and the options are overwhelming. Everything from South Beach to Nutrisystem to Dr Bernstein to Weight Watchers. and the list goes on. All promise they are the one that works best.

I lost a lot of weight some years ago following the South Beach Diet. It is a low carb diet.

Now I only have about 15 pounds to lose, so I think I will try something like the South Beach Diet again. I cannot face starting at the beginning. I did stage one last time. It is drastic and cuts out all carbs including fruit for the first two weeks. It did work and I lost twenty pounds in the first two weeks, but I think it would be too much for me to follow right now. I want a plan that will change my eating habits forever. The yo-yo dieting I have done in the past has not worked in the long run. I need to change my habits. I need to throw off the old self who would order pizza rather than cook.

After looking at all the options, I have decided to make a plan of my own.

 My diet will include:

  1. Whole grains only. nothing refined.
  2. lots of colour (I do want to add colour to my life) Broccoli, peppers, carrots, etc.
  3. lots of berries (especially blueberries) and fruit.
  4. skim milk, low fat cheese and yoghurt
  5. low-fat protein like chicken and fish, eggs and nuts.

My diet will not include:

  1. White flour or refined grains
  2. pop (well, maybe diet gingerale)
  3. White potatoes or white rice
  4. bacon, hotdogs, or luncheon meat (the stuff that’s filled with things I cannot pronounce)
  5. Prepackaged or pre-made dinners  or snacks (also filled with strange unknown substances)

Monday is always a good day to start something. Wish me luck on step one of the “makeover” of MaggieLR.

Let me know if you have some suggestions, I need your help.

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One Journey Ends, Another Begins

What an adventure! What a beautiful and diverse continent we inhabit. After 4 months, 15,000 pictures, over 32,000 km, 17 states, 5 provinces and 2 territories we arrived home safe, tired, yet energetic. I have been to deserts and mountains, lakes and oceans, salt flats and lava beds. I saw snow in the south and hot sun in the far north.

enjoying the warm sun in Inuvik, North West Territories

Playing in the snow in May





We spent very little money on our overnight stops, opting instead to stay at truck stops, Wal-Mart, gravel pits, free campsites (thankyou BC) and often just finding an unused road and tucking ourselves away for the night.

A free BC campsite at Ladies Creek

We met amazing and interesting people all over. Many are now friends. This experience has opened my eyes to how good people are. We felt safe everywhere we went.

Most importantly, I am refreshed, I am renewed. Spending so much time in the sunshine has enriched my soul. The sun has not only filled me with vitamin D, but also with a new outlook on life. I have a deep yearning to tackle this next stage, this retirement, with gusto. I have re-written my bucket-list. I want to add colour to my days by tapping into the creativity that is hidden within me. I have had a lot of time to ponder my choices. Writing? Photography? Painting? ….?

I will have the rest of my days to cultivate my dream. Don’t let me procrastinate.  In my pursuit of this creativity, I must not neglect the health of my body, soul and spirit. Nutrition and exercise is a daily concern.

Long walks are good for the body mind and spirit.

Most importantly, I must not forget my spiritual side. We are spiritual beings. I plan to dig deeper into the Bible. I want to know more. I feel I have lost my connection to God. I no longer feel close to Jesus. I need to understand why. I am dry and thirsty.

I feel dry and thirsty like this Arizona desert

I am planning to use this blog to share my new journey and the progress step by step. I am searching for answers about nutrition, health, exercise and about my spirituality. I plan to share what I learn and I hope others will share their knowledge and teach me as I travel this road to wholeness.

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Free counters

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Rock vs Water: 10 things I have learned

The evidence speaks for itself,  rock has put up a good
fight but water is winning the battle. We can learn a lot from this ongoing war.

  1. You will lose if you stand still and refuse to change.

    Digging your heals in and just standing there will not stop change from happening all around

    2. Sometimes it is better to tread lightly.

    Sometimes it is wiser to tread lightly

    3. If you stand still too long, eventually you will be covered in moss.

    Move or you will be covered in moss

    If you insist on resisting change, eventually you will be standing all alone, high and dry.

    Pay attention or the world will leave you high and dry

    5. Often you will pick up a lot of junk along the way, cry a little, leave the junk behind and move on.

    It is ok to cry, but not for long.

    6. Battles do not last forever, there are smooth patches to enjoy. Do not rush
    through life without taking time to stop and enjoy the journey.

    Relax and enjoy the journey

    7.  The way is not always clear especially when you find yourself all alone

    The way is not always clear

    8. Be flexible.

    Be flexible

    9. It is better to let off a little steam now and then:

    Let off a little steam

    Before you blow your top.

    If you hold it all in, eventually you will blow your top.

    10. Success takes time. Be persistent and you will reach your goals.

    The battle is over, I am retired.


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