One day at a time in the life of Eileen Pappas: knitwear designer, Trekkie, and closeted rock star.

The Inauthentic Fear of Failure

"What would you attempt today if you knew you could not fail?"

That question seems to be coming up quite frequently lately, from different areas and different people in my life...

I remember a conversation we had in our Business Seminar class at Parsons last year.  Our teacher was fond of asking the question, "Does fear stop you or motivate you?"  Naturally, it became a big consideration for me as I scanned my life over to find the answer.

Truth be told, I've taken some big risks the past few years - living in Budapest for two years while going to medical school, leaving medical school and moving to New York to pursue a career in fashion, and lately giving my word to doing things that I oftentimes have neither the necessary knowledge nor resources to accomplish.  Until recently, moving to a place of my own was one of these things.  (The good news is, both the resources and the means to accomplish this have since come to be.)

Given all this, I suppose fear does not stop me.  But I'm not sure I would go so far as to say it motivates me; I simply choose to act in spite of the fear.

This past Sunday was the day of the New York City Marathon.  I was honored to have two friends run that day (and finish with amazing times too), and got to be a spectator for a few hours as I cheered on not only my friends, but hundreds of complete strangers as well.  I have to say, there are few moments in my life where I've been so proud to be a human being.

And then I reminded myself that running a marathon has been on my bucket list for six years now - one of those things that I wanted to do, but SOMEDAY.

Well, this past Sunday, I decided to put a date on "someday" and announced to several friends my plan to run the NYC Marathon in 2015.  Am I afraid?  Terrified.  Afraid of failing, afraid of getting injured, afraid my knees won't handle it, afraid my asthma will make it impossible for me to ever run long distances, afraid of bad weather the day of the race... You name it.


But is my fear going to stop me?  Not this time.