Monday, November 2, 2015

The Fear of Failure

Everyone has this fear at one time or another in their life. The fear of failing at their job, their education, their family.

As a homeschool mom, I experience this fear quite intensely. The constant worry that I am not doing enough. That my children will not learn what they need to know. That they will forever have sloppy handwriting and forget to capitilize and punctuate sentences which will make them social outcasts. That they won't be able to properly diagram a sentence and will be rejected from college. That they will not be able to recite the Preamble and therefore, not be able to get a good job.

Yes, irrational fears give birth to irrational thoughts, which then pave the way for irrational behavior.


I have the nagging voice in my head, screaming at me that I am not sufficient. That I will never teach my 5 year old his letters, and he will never learn to read. That my 2nd grader zones out during history and will never make it in the real world. That my 10 year old will always struggle in grammar and I am to blame. That my 7th grader will never be able to spell at grade level, and will never be accepted to college.

Key words: ALWAYS and NEVER.

I need to tell that nagging voice to shut up, and listen for the Voice who calms my fears, comforts me, and is sufficient enough for my needs. He is sufficient, so I don't have to be.

I need to observe my children and celebrate their strengths. My 5 year old loves to color, listen to books, and can count to 30 without too much help. He likes to build things and enjoys science experiments, no matter how simple. My 2nd grader loves to read and draw, and thanks to the new journals we are using, has shown an interest in Pocahontas and Indians. My 10 year old absorbs information like a sponge - as long as he is interested in it. He can build anything with Legos and has collections of baseball cards, coins, and stamps. My 7th grader can draw extremely well, loves baking and cooking, crocheting and sewing. She loves Little House on the Prairie and the Percy Jackson books, and has learned a lot about Greek and Roman mythology and praire life.

The thing about fear is this: we feed it. We feed it by our negative thoughts, the comparisons we make to others, the things we can't change. It is time to starve the fear.

I know in my heart, my children are thriving and learning every day. We have begun delight directed homeschooling, and in the few days we have done this, I have seen remarkable change. True interest. Creativity. Imagination. Writing skills. Logic. Critical thinking. Enjoyment. Contentment.

How could that be failure?

It isn't. It is success.


  1. You are doing a wonderful job Megan! Wonderful post mama!

  2. I agree, Megan! You are not only doing enough, you are enough! You are an amazing homeschool mama and will be just fine! Enjoy your new journey!

  3. I think we can all relate to this post! Following your heart in teaching will lead to the beautiful success you share.

  4. "I need to tell that nagging voice to shut up, and listen for the Voice who calms my fears, comforts me, and is sufficient enough for my needs. He is sufficient, so I don't have to be."
    Yes! I spent too much time in our early homeschooling years worrying about all this stuff. I'm a slow learner so it wasn't until my first child graduated that I realised how wasteful those thoughts had been. My job was just to be faithful. I know that full well now & I can look at my older children & see things in them that I certainly didn't put there. I just did the little faithful things that seemed almost insignificant at times & God provided the rest. Lovely post!

  5. What a great post Megan! Pinning :)

  6. Funny how we all share the same thoughts and fears but can see how well another family seems to be doing!