The Sadness of Fearing Failure

"I'm here to tell you that the fear of failure is the engine that has driven me throughout my entire life. It flies in the faces of all these sports psychologists who say you have to let go of your fears to be successful and that negative thoughts will diminish performance. But not wanting to disappoint my parents, and later my coaches, teammates and fans, is what pushed me to be successful ... The reason nobody caught me from behind is because I ran scared. People are always surprised how insecure I was. But I was always in search of that perfect game, and I never got it. Even if I caught 10 of 12 passes, or two or three touchdowns in the Super Bowl, I would dwell on the one pass I dropped ... If I have one single regret about my career standing here today, it's that I never took the time to enjoy it.''
-- Jerry Rice, in his Hall of Fame speech Saturday night.

As a 49er fan Jerry Rice is one of my favorite NFL players of all time.  I was sad having to see him toward the end of his career in the uniform of a Raider and Seahawk.  But I find this quote from his NFL Hall of Fame acceptance speech even more sad.  
I think everyone has experienced this kind of 'motivating' fear before, and it never brings real life.  The greatest NFL wide receiver to ever play the game never enjoyed what so many would do for free because he was constantly afraid to disappoint someone.  If I was being really honest, I would say that I live this way fairly often.  
I'm constantly evaluating most of everything I do under the lens of "what will [insert name] think".  I'm afraid of disappointing people with the clothes I wear, the lessons I teach, trash in my car, and on and on and on; even down to what I'm typing up on this here blog post.  It's exhausting to keep up with. 
I really want to live a life where I don't look back and regret having missed out of real life.  So I'm going to try and make it through the next hour...& morning...& day...& week...& year...& life...believing I'm defined by a God who already loves me and not my fears.

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