Turn Off The Voice Of Fear Of Failure
Creating has always been an act of enchantment to me. As long as I can remember I have loved the thrill of bringing something into being that did not exist before. I marvel at the potential of us humans to create. I can spend countless hours just ravished by what artisans and artists are able to do. I know it is not just talent, this would be too easy. It is devotion that makes things happen. Without devotion, most people would never come past their fear of failure.
I have been devoted to creating for so many years I can't even remember when it really started. I just simply love the process of bringing something into being, it is exhilarating. All my life though, the fear of failure has also been devoted to me and these two have often been at war with each other. As creating is always, always treading on unknown grounds. There is always a degree of fear involved in doing something that you have not done before, except maybe in some very super confident people, but let's for now assume that we are not all like that.
In recent years I have learned to live with this fear of failure, I know it is there and won't let it tell me what I need to do next. I know it will always only tell me to stop and not go forward and this is just a bit too boring for me. What is fear of failure anyway? Are you scared of not being able to do something at all? Or are you scared of not being able to do it as well as you require of yourself? I think that the latter is why most of us decide to not take the risk, to not take the leap....because we are scared that we will not live up to our own standards.
Continue reading about your comfort zone in this blog post: Is your comfort zone getting uncomfortably small?
So, the problem is in the standards. If you have decided that for you to succeed at something, you must have a certain level of magnificence in your work, you will be stopped by your fear a lot.
Fact is that you succeed by taking one step and then the next. You succeed only if you try. Yes and you might "fail", but you have to be devoted enough to creating itself to just stand up again and try again. This is how you learned everything you can do now. Imagine what would have happened if you had looked at a top notch gymnast before you had learned to walk and thought...if I can't do that within a week, I might just as well not try this walking thing at all. As a toddler, when you needed to learn almost everything, including how you could put food in your mouth and not over your entire face, you did not have standards. You simply tried to walk, would fall, stand up, fall and stand up, but you did it. You managed to learn how to walk.
At this moment my creativity is a bit restless. I know what it is trying to tell me. I have been feeling uneasy about some of my previous work for a while, because there is a new direction that is calling me. At first it was just an uneasy feeling, I could not define what it was that was causing this. Now that I know, my fear too decided to turn up the volume and tell me that I should not do this. I choose to ignore it, I regard the voice of curiosity my leading light and my fear of failure the brake, which keeps on braking. I know that this is the only thing it likes to do....brake.
And the more invested you are in an idea, the closer it is to your heart, the harder fear of failure will put on the brakes. And the longer you drag your feet, the more you start believing what fear of failure has to say. It is always best to take one step as soon as you can, so you can start moving forward. Remember that without trying there will be no succeeding.
Being creative means being courageous, standing up to the fear and tell it that it is not helping. Realising that succeeding has its roots in trying, in trial and error, not in putting up high standards before you have even started. It has its roots in devotion to trying again and again, in always standing up after you fall and in determination to somehow make it work your way.
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Keywords: creativity, creativity coaching, fear of failure, inspiration, mindset, motivation, photography
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