Monday, February 9, 2009

Fear of Failure

Some people have a fear of spiders, fear of dark or confined places or even a fear of flying. I myself have quite a few fears but one of the worst and the most debilitating is the fear of failure.

I've struggled with this my whole life. If I wasn't good at something right away I'd quit for fear that I would never become very good. I quit swimming, highland dancing, gymnastics, basketball and soccer (although I've recently made up for that one). Luckily I married someone who pushes me to succeed. He's gotten me into mountain bike, mountain and rock climbing, even canoeing on a lake, although he still can't get me inside of a kayak. He's also cheered me on and encouraged me to keep writing this book.

I'm trying to get over this fear of failure as I'm about to send my novel that I've worked hard on out into the publishing industry. My fear is at an all time high but I'm pushing forward like I've done with other things. Hopefully this time I'll succeed.

Maybe one of these days I'll even get inside of a kayak, on second thought probably not, I also I have a deep seeded fear of water.


Auntie Nikki said...

Get that novel to the publishing industry NOW! Brilliant, talented, courageous... you don't even see all the adjectives one can put to your name, while the fear is at the all time high. But so happy for you that you have chosen to push foward!!

Your comments about failure I find very thought provoking....I have thought alot about this lately too;I always THOUGHT I had that same fear of failure. However, I believe now that my bigger fear, is in fact, success! As you become successful or have one big success, the pressure is on to CONTINUE to be successful.... hmm...over and over, if you want to make it your life and business. There are perceptions and expectations people start having of you, and well, pressure!

At the same time I have been thinking about this, I saw a starbucks cup with an interesting comment about failure versus success and how successes in the wrong hands, in the wrong areas of life...destroy people. I think the point was to be that we should allow, through our determination, our passions to give us our income and lifestyle, cause we will always love what we do as long as it is for "good". And with what I have read pf your work and what I know of your talent and goals you should put that fear on the shelf and pursue this to live your best life!!

Lots to think about today. Thanks for your thoughts!

Katie Alender said...

I think my fear isn't "failure", exactly--it's looking dumb in public. Quiet failure I can deal with! It's public failure that gives me the heeby-jeebies.

But I'm getting braver, because I've realized that my decisions matter mostly just to me. A borrowed quote that really impacted me: "You wouldn't worry so much about what people thought of you if you knew how rarely they did so." So now I'm usually willing to give things a good Girl Scout try.

Good luck with your submissions!

Patti said...

Katie: I have to say that I use that quote a lot on my kids, I should probably take my own advice.

Thanks for the words of encouragement "N", you've been one of my greatest cheer leaders.

Holly Kennedy said...

I, too, have a horrible fear of water, and yet my husband has four canoes and two kayaks.

Taking it a step further, I've always been a perfectionist and have battled the fear of failure many times over the years (still do, every day when I begin writing a new paragraph/chapter/page)

Kow what I've learned, though? More than anything I have always wanted to be a published author, and it never ever let up, this desire. Better yet, it helped pushed me straight over that mound of fear to submit my work and then brace for the rejection that inevitably follows before getting that magical first contract.

You also need a good set of cheerleaders who genuinely believe in you (which you seem to have)so you're set.


Jessie Oliveros said...

You've finished a book, and that alone is success. When (and if) I get so far I will laugh at failure.

Patti said...

You are so right Jessie.

JKB said...

I'm with Holly. And Jessie.

I struggle with the fear of failure as well, and the submissions process isn't helping this at ALL. Rather, making it worse.

But I know I want it more than anything, enough to deal with the failure. All I can say is that this whole thing is a crapshoot, and totally subjective. You'll find the right one. :)