We know we as caregivers are only human. Part of our humanness is errors and failures. This fact allows fear to creep in. We fear we will fail at caregiving. It is what we do with and within that fear that matters.
How do you deal with fear of failure?
Present Franklin Roosevelt said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” As caregivers we might beg to differ. Yet, it is the fear keeping us from taking action, fear of others perceptions keeping us from asking for support or assistance, fear blocking us from doing our best. That IS the TRUE ISSUE.
Readers were polled with this question: “Would you rather be less perfect at self-care or caregiving?”. Many respondents indicated they place priority on caregiving while acknowledging self-care affects our ability to care.
Many times in this last year’s journey, I was concerned I would fail. My husband was receiving chemo drugs through a pic-line. If they leaked, they could burn him or a hole in anything they touched. But it wasn’t the chemo that incited fear. It was dressing changes for the pic-line. I was responsible to change those dressings following a strict protocol. Feared I’d give my husband a life threatening infection if I messed up on that protocol.
What did I do? I acknowledged my fears, I problem solved, I acted.
This is how that looked. I shared my fears with my husband. (I claimed my fear.) Before each dressing change I reviewed the protocol. (I took action.) It was then handed to him to read each step along the way. He was also responsible for timing portions of the process. (I shared responsibility and I moved forward.)
At the same time other events were swirling in my life with other fears. I feared I wasn’t the big sister my siblings needed. I feared the unknown of life without my father. …
Again, I needed to name each fear being as specific as possible. I claimed it as mine – sometimes only to myself. Gradually sharing it with family, friends, and counselors. I problem solved or accepted support. Doing my best in the moment. Leaning on my friends, family and faith to carry me through.
Though unintentional, essential oils were a part of my support through the fears. A friend had gifted me a doTERRA Home Essential Kit with a diffuser. FRANKINCENSE was one I diffused. It made me feel relaxed, helping point me towards a more balanced state of emotions. Another was LAVENDER. The calming effects helped move me through the actions I needed to take.
Now I have more knowledge and essential oils to use. CONSOLE is one that promotes feeling of comfort and hope.
While the essential oils were supportive, the naming, claiming and asking for help that helped me with my fear of failure.
Remember, you are not alone. When you fear you need to name it and reach out for support.
Remember to care for yourself.