Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Fear of Success

If you are following the Crazy Blog Serial, today is Amarinda's day at http://amarindajones.blogspot.com. I'm sure that she thought she cornered me, but alas, no, I've devised a wily escape which I will post tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have joined not one but two writing classes. One began day before yesterday. So far we've stated our goals for the next year, formulated a plan to implement those goals, and today we're working on analyzing what exactly is keeping us from implementing our goals. Once we decide that, our assignment directs us to find solutions to those problems.

As I read through the various lists my fellow writers posted, I was struck by the similarity from post to post. The same difficulties were listed. Spouse, children, elders, job, technical distractions such as e-mails and other web based activities. But the number one problem was self-doubt.

Self-doubt is a robber, not just in writing, but in every endeavor in life. That every present thought, "What if I'm not good enough?" keeps us from trying. If you never try, you can't possibly succeed. Ever. Whether you want to go to the moon, walk across the country, become the first woman president, or write a book.

This seems to be a peculiarly female trait. I know very few men who hesitate to do something because of the fear of failure. Why is that? What are we teaching our daughters that leads them to believe that they will fail? Does it all start with our urgent belief that certain things are not lady like or feminine? I don't know.

I do know that when I started asking other women about their dreams and what stopped them from achieving them, the number one reason was that same cry, "Suppose I try it and I suck at it?"

Well, my answer is, "SO WHAT?"

Will life as we know it come to an end? Will the sun fail to rise? Will the sky fall? I think not. Why is spectacular success so important? Why is it so terrible to try and fail? Isn't it worse to reach the end of life and have to say, "I never succeeded because I never tried?"

At fifty seven I finally found the courage to submit my first book. Nothing terrible happened. I was offered a contract. It was released last week. So I have to wonder how much longer I could have been writing and published. Sad, huh?

This is not to say that there aren't authors who have a satchel full of rejections. I have deep abiding admiration for them because they didn't quit. They kept on going. They didn't let fear of failure keep them from their dreams. That's the important thing.

If you don't try, you can't possibly succeed.


1 comment:

  1. damn right...go in and have a go and if you fall on your arse well just get back up again.