fear of failure

Today I have read approximately 5,678,987 tweets and pretty much everything in the blogoverse. I have stared at blank white screens in Scrivener for hours. I have thought about doing a thousand really important things, but I haven’t done any of them.

I’m not a lazy person. I approach pretty much everything from art to writing to gaming with that Type-A must-succeed-at-all-c0sts mentality. I’ll get up at the crack of dawn and work all day…unless I am paralysed with doubt and fear.

That is my big problem: that internal voice which says “you can’t,” and “you’ll fail.” I think that is why I’ve gone above and beyond in every job that I have ever had; I throw everything at a project in order to still that sneaky little voice that tells me that I’m not good enough. Never have been, never will be. Best to not even try.

I hate that voice, but sometimes it is all that I can hear.


2 thoughts on “fear of failure”

  1. Oh, too well I know this voice of which you speak. How many times do we have to prove it to be what it is, this Mother of Lies? I honestly don’t think that for as long as we live, we’ll ever be able to silence it. I don’t think it will ever cease to challenge and provoke us, this anti-muse. I don’t know about yours but adding insult to injury mine doesn’t stop when I’ve accomplished whatever project the voice has been predicting gloom and doom for. Oh, no. That’s when it changes tactics and starts giving me a ration about how what I’ve done isn’t good enough, could be better, doesn’t deserved to be called whatever it is called, that it was a complete waste of time. “So you wrote a page of manuscript. To what end? Big deal, no one’s ever going to read it. Why’d you write it?”

    I have always looked with envy at those for whom the word “failure” is simply not in their psychic vocabulary. They just seem to “do” without a backward glance at doubt. I am not that way. It is a daily fight to come up with some sort of response to the voice that does not include endorsement or agreement. Even with evidence to the contrary, finished projects, I act as if every doubt produced is a solid truth.

    It’s bullshit Ravven. Bullshit I say because for every doubt or challenge this thing throws at me, the bottom line is that it’s in response to something I am doing…something the muse, who evidently has enough faith in me to compel me to create, sculpt, write or learn music, wants me to do. Something I can do or I wouldn’t imagine doing it. I don’t want to paint a fresco (not yet anyway :), but I do want to write a page or edit for 10 minutes and I believe I want to do those things because I am capable of doing them. That thought gives me strength. I am moved to do. I am moved to attempt. I am moved to make. I am moved to write, and this voice’s nay-saying, a voice I have never been able to silence, has just as NEVER been right. Struggle though I may. Stumble though I might. Modify though I must, it has never ever been right. Ever.

    So why do I keep on listening, doubting, wondering? I don’t know. Human I guess. Honestly, let ‘em taunt and cat-call. Today, I’m ignoring them. Tomorrow? Well, that’s tomorrow, but for right now, Doubting Debbie Downer and all the rest of my invisible crew will just have to scream and holler from the side lines, ’cause look at me go, bitches! Com’on, Ravven. let’s have a go.

  2. Thank you for that – that was perfect and so true. I suppose everyone has that internal doubting voice. When it’s something that I know damned well that I can do, such as my artwork or putting together a kickass team for a big web project, it is a very small voice. Sometimes, when I’m not so confident (as with writing) it is so loud I swear I can hear it.

    So shut the hell up, voice. When and if I do fail, then you can say “I told you so” and I won’t disagree. But until then, shut the hell up.

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