Thursday, June 30, 2011


I have a terrible "fear of failure". It's become almost paralyzing. It has prevented me from taking risks, following my dreams and sometimes just functioning in daily life. It's been a companion for too many years... Actually, I think it's been riding around on my back and I cannot shake it off!

I've always felt that I have to be perfect, can't mess up, no wasting ingredients or materials or people's time. When I do fall short, I remind myself, "See you are a failure. You can't do anything right." Sometimes it's over the smallest, most insignificant thing too.

For a number of years in our marriage, Blaine had to deal with me (and our children too, I guess) that I would freak out if my pies didn't turn out perfectly for holiday celebrations. Any part of the meal, actually. And I mean - major meltdown. No one else knew. Probably, no one else really cared if it was perfect or not, but I felt like I had failed. Even if everyone had a wonderful time and enjoyed all the food. *Of course, then I "beat myself up" about getting worked up over nothing...

I know I should have allowed our children to fail. I didn't let that happen though. I'd go the extra mile, enable them to accomplish what needed to get done. I think I was afraid to let them fail, because I might fall apart or people would think less of me... I wish I would have let them fail, work through it and be stronger people because of it. I can't change that, but I am working on changing me and sharing my healing journey on my blog.

Today, I saw my naturopath and through this journey I have been learning more about myself and what is causing my body to be chronically ill. The answers have been surprising and sometimes ~ shocking. I shared about my fear of failure, because I haven't handled it well lately. Blaine allowed me to make a batch of strawberry jam - by myself - and I was second-guessing myself the entire time; asking him if I was doing it correctly and felt that I fell short when one jar didn't seal properly. (Which really isn't a big deal, because it could go in the fridge and be used by us now...) I've been making jam for years! This shouldn't even be an issue. What in the world is going on?

I also found a recipe for strawberry rhubarb coconut milk ice cream and made it last week. The recipe was a total failure - taste was not good... I was so upset, because I had wasted strawberries, rhubarb and coconut milk. Even though Blaine tried to reassure me that it was okay to have something not turn out, I felt defeated and haven't tried making ice cream since... (Yes, I am going to make ice cream this weekend. I can't let it overwhelm me.)

So..... after sharing all this at my appointment today (which might seem odd at a "medical appointment"), my doctor was so thankful, because she's beginning to discover more of the root cause of what is making me sick. AND ~ part of my treatment plan today: mess up something you're working on - allow it to be less than perfect - and realize that it's okay; maybe even laugh about it. This is going to take some time. Some effort on my part. But, I know it's critical in taking steps to freeing me from the bondage of "fear of failure".

I began working on this tonight. Blaine told me I could make Swedish Pancakes (crepes) for dinner. Not an easy gluten-free task... He always makes them. I don't like to be compared to others. But I made them and here's how I did.

Gathered all the ingredients

Recipe from Living Without magazine that we have "tweaked" just slightly.
*I decided to use brown rice flour instead of white (a risk I took, as I follow recipes exactly)

To make: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Do not overmix or batter will become foamy. Pour batter into a pitcher, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 hours (We don't chill our batter...)

Oil 10" skillet and place over medium heat. We use a gravy ladle and it's 2-3 scoops; swirling the batter around the skillet.

Proof that I did make the recipe

Adding batter to the pan

As the edges "brown", loosen the edges and when middle looks bubbly, flip over.

*My first attempt crashed and did not turn out.


Blaine cooked bacon for us...
And, Nicholas and I enjoyed our Swedish Pancakes!

*You never know if you're going to have a batch that sticks to the pan alot or if it's going to be easy and they are turn out really well. Tonight's risk of failure experiment went well. This is the first of many experiments to come...


  1. I tend to "spit the dummy" when things don't go to plan for me. I love to plan, and I don't cope well when my plans don't work out. This is where I'm having real trouble. I had Steph's future planned...and she ruined it! The cheek of the girl!
    Loving reading your blogs again Joanie.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Sharon. I think I've the same way with our own children (maybe not quite as much as you with yours), but have realized they are going to make their own decisions and they're not going to consult me. My life is much less stressful (in the children department), because I've let them go.

    I am so glad to be reconnected with you and have your sharing on your blog again.

  3. A few years back my hubby was asked by the Gp to go buy fries at Hungry jacks and deliberately spill them on the floor. No way could he do it. He did however decide to scrunch up scrap paper and try to miss the bin.. and leave it on the floor for as long as possible. He couldnt bare it. Then a while back my consellor asked me to deliberately burn one aspect of tea or forget to cook something ... it was hard at first but i realised the world didnt fall apart and people still liked me even though it wasnt as perfect as i wanted. SOmetimes i still lean back to this way of thinking perfectionism if the ONLY way to live yet when I see how others can live in mess and chaos I wonder why I cannot do same. ITs a huge learning curve Joanie.. dont beat yourself up with it. Most of all remember the Lord made each of us the way he intended, not to bring glory to us but to himself so lets focus on Him and be all He wants us to be and cling to His promises. Bless you today as you take baby steps. Lynette

  4. SHaron I can sure relate.. I have been feeling similar with J who early on in year wanted to leave school so badly and attend Tech school and NOW he doesnt want to go. We decided not to push him, but to respect his wishes and take his name off enrolment. Yes he may regret not doing it one day but he cant say we pushed him into pulling out when he made the decision. Its a jolly hard learning curve. One we all have to learn and sometimes its a hard long lesson. I am slowly learning to yield more to the Lord and let him have his way... besides why do i worry when he has it all worked out better than I can imagine. Our kids arent given to us because we deserve them, they are gifts, and perhaps we just need to hand them back to the Lord and let HIm deal with them. In the meantime we need to still love them , gently guide them when they ask advice and leave them To God... Prayers


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Abundant blessings on your day... Joanie