Fear of failure is a beast!


I was raised by a father whose vehicle to inspire me was criticism. Never good enough for his standards, was my plight. At 40, with a degree in chemistry and seven years of pro baseball under my belt, I felt like a failure.



Fear of failure drove me to outwork, out play, outperform anyone in front of me. It was great for performance, victory. Conditioned love was always up for judgment. If I did not perform well, I was treated harshly.


My father never wanted me to feel comfortable or satisfied I guess, criticism would develop the best athlete. Many fathers in the Midwest treated their sons harshly.


My healing was not easy. For a type A personality, a devoted overachiever, healing meant not overachieving. It was extremely difficult to stop judging myself.


Fear of failure craves approval. Approval is external and out of our control.


Now, I have found compassion meditation, showering myself with inner peace.


This care circuit has opened easily and builds quickly so far.


Inner peace was completely foreign to my being. When the first waves of warmth appeared, I was startled and relieved.



Never did I think, a time would come when I was fine, complete, not at risk for a moment.


Never give up, never give in, exhaust all effort, let yourself feel inner peace.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jeanetteirene on May 10, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Hi Marty,
    Thank you for this post. It speaks to me directly. I grew up with abuse at a young age and a household that held great deal of ‘shoulds’. Even though the PTSD has different origins, it manifested similarly, meaning, I felt I need to prove my worth, validate my being, and show my worthiness as a person, parent and professional.

    I studied to become a teacher ….. a respected profession. I went back to school to obtain a MA in Psychology and become an MDT …… a noble/compassionate profession. And I returned again to school to gather a school counseling credential ….. a practical decision financially (which was proof I was wise with money). All was to prove to my family, AND mySelf, that I am a valuable being. Most of the accomplishments did not generate a compassionate and loving feeling of Self inwardly. What it does get me is some respect from outside ….. yet that respected shower is a bit hollow …. without depth. And it saddens me. I will begin the trek toward inner peace, that Marty suggests.

    I have worked very hard in the last 3 1/2 years ….. to weather a loss of my soul mate, weather a sinking into opiate addiction from a brutal fall 1 month after my soulmate died, and then weather the journey back out of addiction and into healing PTSD and addiction. I did much research on how Adverse Childhood Experiences effect the growing child’s neurology and physiology, creating a sensitivity in reacting to the stress hormones of cortisol, epinephrin and nor-epinephrin. The child grows up with a heightened sense of ‘fight or flight’, and holding the Beta stress brain waves as a ‘norm.

    In my years of growing, I found activities, foods and drink that rewarded my insides with a dopamine hit, upon use. The dopamine ‘hit’ chemistry is along the same structure as opiates, which explained how quickly I became addicted to opiates!!!!

    Anyway, through much work, research, and writing, I feel I have come to heal a great deal of my PTSD and addictions. Yet, from this post, it is clear to me, that my next journey is to find inner peace and love ….. for mySelf, no FROM others.

    I just finished writing a book and it is now for sale on Amazon in ekindle format. The print version is coming in a week. It is about my journey in healing loss, PTSD and addictions, and finding a scientific ‘cure’ for the learned addictions. I am excited to share what I have learned, with emphasis on how this path is accessible for us all. The book is titles, Journey to a Safe Harbor, by Jeanette Orme.

    What is apparent, is the work I still need to do with finding, learning, and giving mySelf inner peace. Thank you Marty for highlighting the next fork in the road.

  2. Thank you Jeanette for your gratitude and sharing.

    I told my gp doctor and my therapist I was an adecerse childhood experience kid. Not in the study but I have had chronic fatigue and Gillian beret, two viral, immune deficiency dieseases.

    We can achievement all our goals but that hollow, unworthy, anxious feeling persists.

    We seem to think we need to prove our worth or that our self worth is vulnerable to others.

    You would be surprised at how many great athletes are driven by fear of failure.

    While meditating this morning wishing myself inner peace, the thought, feeling word. Approval appeared.

    Yes I thought give yourself approval for being worthy, complete, content, whole.

    Been a big void in self approval in my life.

    I was always overcoming the next threat, challenge or crisis.

  3. Posted by Laurie Schuler on May 10, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Oh My Gosh! Marty thank you for sharing. I know this came from your heart. You are an amazing man who has traveled a long hard journey thus far! You are finally on the the pathway to goodness and joy within. I wish you peace and happiness always ❤️

  4. Yes inner peace does come after the recognition and growth.

    When we first met, I had been in therapy and reading-“The Cinderella Complex” great read on fear of failure.

    We’re a lot alike and I honor we can still share and care.

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