How My Fear Of Failure Disrupts My Creativity

David Streit

Well, I haven’t written anything in weeks and that’s such a classic ‘me’ thing to do. It’s the same pattern each time. I take interest in something, try to pursue it for a bit and after a month, act as if that interest had never existed.

I honestly feel like there’s a lot that I can do with my life but just don’t seem to be able to do it. The reason being very obvious: ME

Whenever I have something even close to a dream make its way into my mind, my unfortunately, very loyal friends, namely self-doubt and insecurity, come to my rescue (or so they think, I assume) and try to protect me from failure. What’s worse is, I let them.

I have this completely irrational but very real fear of failure, let’s just call it FOF (I feel the acronym makes it sound cooler, or maybe, it just made me sound very uncool). That’s the reason I always prefer doing something I already know how to than to give something new a shot.

My FOF (yup, I guess I’m going to use it after all) is also one of the reasons I am a chronic procrastinator. Let’s take this article for instance. I had enough time on my hands this past month to write at least 10 articles, but I didn’t. I kept putting it off until the next day because I was scared of not being able to come up with anything good when I finally did start writing.

FOF has held me back all my life without me even realizing it up until the past couple of months. That realization was followed by another: FOF is alarmingly counterproductive.

We all (most of us anyway) deal with fear in one of two ways, we either run from it or we face it. Unfortunately, for me, the former has always been a go-to option. And so, in order to run away from failure, more often than not, I end up not trying at all.

The tricky thing is that, when you run from failure, you inevitably run from success as well. Yup, apparently, failure and success are part of a combo plan. If you want one, you’ve got to take the other as well.

Admitting to having FOF is a difficult thing to do. You’re basically telling yourself that YOU are the reason for the stagnancy in your life. But trust me, it’s important that you do. As they say, “Admitting you have a problem is half the battle won”.

By that logic, it’s safe to say that I’ve won only half the battle, but I’m getting there. For starters, I have decided to write at least once a week regardless of whether or not I put it up on my blog. I have also promised myself that I would not let my oh so wonderful (NOT) inhibitions keep me from exploring opportunities and make the most out of them. And lastly, I am determined to convince myself that failure is my friend, no matter how ugly it may seem right now.

Because let’s face it, and as cliché as it sounds, life is short. You can’t spend what little time you have on this earth holding yourself back from doing something that you love.

And yes, I know it’s easier said than done and I have my work cut out for me, but, I’m determined to give it a shot and I guess that’s the important part. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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