Fear of Failure; Fear of Success

If you meet a person who has never failed at anything, you’ve met a person who’s never tried anything. Failure is not permanent. One takes the lessons learned in the failed attempt, improves the concept with the weaknesses removed, and tries again. As long as one keeps trying, in spite of failures, one has not lost. We lose only when we give up and quit. When each failure has led to modification until there is no flaw remaining, one has success.

Fear of failure is natural. One is stepping into the unknown, and will be forced to cope with matters as they unfold. Unique experiences are terrifying in anticipation, and often far less fearful than had been anticipated. Simple things like asking your favourite fellow student to go on a date can be traumatic. Applying for a job is fearful, and facing the first day on the new job can be frightening. One has to ‘find their sea legs’ so to speak.

In the case of Sandi-Jo Rogers, she was terrified to audition. She had no qualms about singing in church or at home, but she was easily shaken by the suggestion that she should audition for an A&R man at a music label. Her brother Rory played lead guitar in a garage band. His band, ‘The Skoolkids’, sometimes played for school dances and Sandi-Jo would sing. Many of her friends and classmates would beg her to make records, but she was too frightened. She would visibly shake when pushed to record.

Sandi-Jo was about as pretty as any of the pretty girls in school. Just like all the girls, she had a favourite ‘crush’ from the basketball team. She would die rather than let Carlo Suarez know how she felt, so she took no action. He was a heroic kind of young man because he was 6 feet tall, lean, and solid, which was evident as he ran and leapt during a game. After a game, usually many kids gathered at Karl’s Korner Kitchen for coffee and snacks.

Sandi-Jo sat facing Marlene and Joyce. They chattered together about music, movies, television and school as they always did. Table by table, Karl’s emptied out as kids went on home, except these three girls who were engrossed in their discussions. They didn’t notice when three of the basketball players entered and went toward one of the many free tables. The girls noticed when Carlo Suarez told his friends to choose a table and he’d be right with them.

Before she knew it, Carlo was standing at her side asking if he could join them. Sandi-Jo had her head held way back to look up at his face. She couldn’t move, speak, or think.

Marlene said, “Sure, Carlo. Slide over Sandi-Jo, give our star player a seat.” Mesmerised, Sandi-Jo slid aside so Carlo could sit beside her.

“I don’t want to interrupt you. You were deep in an interesting conversation,” said Carlo. “I was hoping,” he said to Sandi-Jo, “that you would be my date at my brother’s wedding. It’s on the 27th. Think on it and let me know, okay? Thanks.” Before she could regain her composure, Carlo slid out of the booth and joined his friends at their table.

Sandi-Jo Rogers spent the weekend stewing. Of course, she wanted to be Carlo’s date to anything, but to a brother’s wedding… she feared it might be a sick joke. She consulted with her friends and her parents. Sandi-Jo’s father knew Mr. Suarez, Carlo’s father. He also knew that Mr. Suarez was very pleased and proud that his older son was marrying, and he was fond of the bride as well.

Assured it was no trick, she approached Carlo in school and told him she’d be pleased to accompany him to the wedding. To her surprise, Carlo stayed with her for the full period until they had separate classes to attend. Carlo waited for her after school, and walked home with her. Sandi-Jo was in a scramble inside her head. She told herself: be careful of what you wish for… you might get it. This was a bit traumatic.

Carlo took Sandi-Jo shopping for a dress to wear to the wedding. During that time, the couple grew closer. Before she knew it, Carlo was her boyfriend. She was the girlfriend of Carlo Suarez. Carlo loved her wonderful singing talent and asked her why she had no recording contract. She explained her fear of failure. Carlo pointed out that there are many producers, and if you fail at the first try, you go on to the second, and third and so on.

Eventually Carlo convinced Sandi-Jo to audition, and he arranged appointments personally. The first audition was rough, to say the least. Sandi-Jo was just too nervous. Carlo took her to the second audition a few days later, and she was in a confident mood. She had broken the ice with the first, and had some idea what she was facing the second time.

The second audition went well, and she was soon signed to Palomar Music. They were known for their aggressive promotion of new artists, and within three months, she was the hottest voice on the radio. She sped through her life and was out of control. Carlo managed all the details of her career and freed her to rest and rehearse.

Before long, Sandi-Jo feared her success. She was always traveling, performing concerts and endorsing products. She was a corporation, a financial entity, and had ceased to be the person she preferred to be. She told Carlo she was going to quit. At first he was upset, but after she explained the situation, he agreed that he, too, was off the rails in terms of ‘real life’.

Fear of failure gave way to fear of success. Carlo and Sandi-Jo married and moved back to their friends and family in their hometown. They opened a music store. They made a family.

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