Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Fear of Failing

I set myself up to fail sometimes.

Okay, that is a depressing statement.  I don't actually mean that I want to fail, but that I set goals that make it nearly impossible not to fail.  Take, for example, my recent resolution to write for an hour every day.  Now, I know with my work schedule and family life that I don't have an hour a day to spare.  Not every single day, certainly.  Yet I gave myself this goal and -- surprise, surprise -- I failed to reach it in the very first day.  And the next day.  And the next.

In fact, since I made that resolution to write for an hour every day, I have not written for an hour any day.  Yup, it's almost like I enjoyed the process of failing to stick to my resolution.


The experience has made me wonder about myself.  What makes me write less at the very time I had promised myself to write more?

Maybe I made that promise to myself because I was feeling a lack of inspiration or energy to write.  Maybe I made the resolution at the very worst time to make it.  Maybe I'd just gotten lazy.

Or maybe I was afraid of giving it my all and still coming up short.  Of writing the very best story or novel that I could and still having no one willing to represent or publish it.

That's called fear of failing and before people started worrying about fearing success, they were caught up in worrying about this (which really makes more sense, when you think about it).

Fear of failing begins with a fear of trying.

The problem is that while trying leads to failure, it can also lead to success.  I may be anxious about how I will how I will handle sudden success (fingers crossed) but I'm not fearful of achieving publication and writing accolades, which have been my dream since I was a child.  I am fearful of spending so much of my life chasing this dream and never quite making it.

Does it mean that I won't be making any more resolutions about writing?  No.

Does this mean that I will stop trying?  Never!

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