Middle Grade ReadingMIDDLE GRADE READING: The Fear of Failure

Middle Grade Reading can be a starting point of how tweens can learn how to dream a bigger dream.  The problem facing most kids is they don’t think they can achieve their dream, which is why they live in fear most of the time.  

Living in fear of anything limits our ability to perform in the very thing we wish to succeed in.  Let’s say, for example, we are in middle school and we are afraid of failing the exam we are about to take even though we spent hours studying the required material.  When we sit down to take the exam, we go into a brain lock and forget…

…all the answers to the questions we knew before we sat down.


The answer is as simple as 2+2=4.  When we have a fear of failure, our body and mind reacts to the fear and not the confidence we KNOW is there.  The activity of being afraid of anything is counterproductive to everything.  Even though we know fear is an agent working against us, we continue to use it and be abused by it.   We waste hours, days, and sometimes years when we live in fear.  As a result, we never really do anything in life because we are afraid of failing.  When we allow this ‘bad habit’ to continue over the years, we simply learn the dis-ability of getting by and fitting in.

“But, I use the fear to propel me forward.”

Sure, if we are walking on small path atop Mt. Whitney (the highest mountain in the continental United States) with a section where a drop off of 4500 feet is to our right, certainly we should proceed with caution.  I said caution, not FEAR.

Two years ago when I reached the summit of Mt. Whitney I was faced with the same kind of mental obstacle.  Looking down that slope of 4500 feet was intimidating.  All I had to do, however, was focus on my abilities and put one foot in front of the other.  This one-foot-in-front-of-the-other thing is an activity I do every single day.  You would be surprised what fear can do to the mind and cause you to suddenly forget how to even walk ten feet.  I moved past the fear put my focus FORWARD.  Before I knew it, I was on the top of the mountain, feeling the rush of accomplishment.  A major accomplishment, I might add and something I wouldn’t have been able to do if I was afraid of failing.

We are here on this planet to let our lives RIP OPEN with the love and passion that is within our very souls.  When we live a life filled with passion and not fear, we are more able to pierce the veil of greatness.  Have you ever heard of a great accomplishment when someone plays it safe and merely tries to fit in?  Greatness takes courage!  Greatness requires us to look past the fear and focus on our abilities, not our dis-abilities.

Remember, energy flows where attention goes.  We can call forth the energy and fear of failure or we can call forth the energy and love of our true potential.  Not to sound like a broken blog entry record, but the choice is up to us.  Every single thing…every vibration we have in life is a choice we get to make.  Do we allow it to cripple us (living in fear) do we rise up and allow our greatest potential to unfold?  Win the debate within the mind and choose CONFIDENCE over FEAR and never lose another year.

Eric DelaBarre is an award-winning filmmaker and the author of Saltwater Taffy, a Middle Grade Fiction novel on sale January 11, 2011. Copyright November 2, 2010. All Rights Reserved.

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