The Fear Of Failing

Photo by Chuttersnap at Unsplash

It is 9:35 p.m. and I am literally just writing to write, hoping that something great comes out of it. I have spent most of the afternoon trying to overcome a fear of failing. I’m trying to build something and I’m afraid people won’t want to hear about it or help me. So, I wrote a list of people who care about me as well as a list of the things I need to do to reach out to them and tell them about what I am doing so I can ask for help. Requesting help and support from people I know and love terrifies me. What if they don’t like my idea? What if they get irritated with me? What if this isn’t as good an idea as I think it is? “What ifs” all day and night.

This is part of the ebb and flow, though. I experience moments of intense focus and excitement when talking to Jason about this website and our ideas. In those moments, I know it is a great idea and I am sure it will succeed. But then, when I am alone, I doubt. Doubt I am good enough to bring it to fruition. Doubt that I will ever write anything worth reading. Doubt I can attract a following, let alone my own friends and family. It’s hard to put myself out there and not feel like a fraud at times.

But, doing nothing never got anyone anywhere, so I have to move forward. I have to continue to reach out to the people in my life. I have to write, every single day, even when I don’t feel inspired. I have to remind myself that I believe in what I am doing and that I am good enough to do it. I have conquered a good deal already in my life, but that was just the beginning. I want more, and to get more you have to do more. Life will not breathe itself into my dreams. It will not magically float like pixie dust across the heads of those I wish to reach, enchanting them to follow.

One of my strengths is my ability to forge deep and meaningful friendships. This isn’t my opinion, it’s what I’ve been told over and over again by my peers and superiors. I am not especially knowledgeable in the technical aspects of the field I work in, but I get people. I have a strong desire to help everyone I make contact with. I want to hear their stories and struggles and offer my help. The term Servant Leader comes to mind here. That is truly what I want to be. I want to lift others up and revel in the joy of bringing joy to them. I have to trust that those who know me believe this about me and that it will translate in the things I do.

So, here I am. Writing as a way to work through the blockades inside my mind that are keeping me from that which I want most in this world. I know there will be many things like this that will never make it to the page, but they are not useless. They are practice, exercise, therapy, and  great reminders that I have a vision and a dream for my future. For the future. And I am the only one who can do my part to make it happen.

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I wrote that months ago on the Trello board I use to keep up with ideas and pieces for Greater Ape. Jason told me he thought it was important even though I was just writing to get something stirring. He said it had a “strong, relatable feeling and emotion tied to it.” Today, while going through the archives and pondering what to write next, I decided to take his word for it and share my inner fears about trying to build this dream with you.

Having a vision is a wonderful experience. It’s exciting and invigorating when, in a mad rush, all of these ideas start to flow, and you just know you are on to something. The frenzied conversations and flood of note-making. The thoughts that spring your eyelids open from a deep sleep and tumble around inside of your head leaving you scrambling for the notepad at your bedside to jot down as much as you can by the light of your iPhone. It’s exhilarating.

But, like all things, that rush has a shelf life. It will leave you and the fear of failure will creep back in like a deluge on your party streamers. I experience this literally every week. Thankfully, I have become more diligent with my writing schedule and I keep myself focused on the work as much as possible. Each time I am able to create something new, the deluge is chased off by the sunny rush of creative excitement again.

I’m learning more and more that the trick is to keep going. Sharing my dream with you isn’t easy. It’s scary and vulnerable and uncertain. However, nothing I’ve ever done that was worth doing was easy and almost all of it was scary and vulnerable and uncertain at some point. To be cliché, it is like falling in love. I am working hard to win you over knowing every day you could walk away from me. I really do hope you will stay.

 

Author: Mandy

Your basic American primate, searching for magic and meaning.

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