Or at least it is for me. Fear of failure paralyzes me – stops me dead in my tracks and derails my success. It always has.
It’s not that I’m afraid to write.
I’m afraid of failing as a writer.
I’m scared of not having pertinent ideas, or never appealing to an audience. Of being laughed at, misunderstood. Not being cool enough or funny enough; being too old or too young. Too jaded or too naive.
I’m terrified I may have no story to tell.
I’m frightened of being rejected by total strangers as insignificant or trivial. People who have never met me pass ghostly judgment in my head before my words ever hit the screen.
I am so afraid that if I take my dream of being a writer, bubble-wrapped and carefully bundled in my heart and open it up, I will drop and break it. I will fail it and I will fail me.
And then there won’t be any dream left to cherish.
I have a quotation printed out and taped to the keyboard of my laptop. When I find myself backed into a corner by the failure monster, petrified to share my thoughts and words, I take to heart something said by someone who gained her first fame without being heard, silent film actress Mary Pickford.
“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”
And I determine one more time, not to stay down.