Fear of Failure

I’m afraid of failure.

There, I’ve said it. Or typed it, I guess. Either way, the message is the same. I’m shaking in my boots, hiding under the bed, covering-my-face-with-a-pillow-terrified. Of failure. Something which is inevitably part of life. So… why am I so afraid of it? I’ve failed before. PLENTY of times. But I’ve dusted my knees off, gotten back up, and tried not to make the same mistake again. Or, tried to learn enough not to fall again. It happened of course, on numerous occasions, surrounding numerous things. But that’s okay. The world kept turning and I’m still here. So, again, why am I so afraid? And of something as common place as failure?

I’ve asked myself this time and time again, as I’m sure several people do. My answer might be different from yours, but what I’ve come up with is this: disappointment. I’m afraid of disappointing. Disappointing me? You? Maybe both. It’s like, if I fail, then I’ve let everyone down. And for me, that’s the worst thing imaginable.

I’m many things. A writer, a comedian, a people person… and with all these traits, I want to make sure I’m meeting expectations, keeping up to everyone’s high hopes. It’s like the world will come crumbling down if it doesn’t work out the way I want it to.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I can remember. It probably reaches back to the days of Barbie dolls and playing with the magnets on the fridge. But I’ve been told *countless* times that I should be a comedian. Even today. Today I was told I should make people laugh for a living. Which is an awesome thing to hear, don’t get me wrong. But what if I get up on that stage and freeze? Like I did in my acting class during my monologue? I’m telling you—if I’m ever put into Azkaban, the dementors would be sucking that memory out of me over and over again. It’s the worst. Freezing in front of people, yes, but failing them. I went up on that stage, knowing I could kick ass but then I didn’t. And it sucked. Hard core sucked. And I never want to feel like that again. But yet, here I sit. Typing away a blog that will be exposed to the internet universe for reading and review. And my book, Escape from Harrizel, is out there, up to be torn apart and critiqued. And that terrifies the shit out of me.

But other days I’m a ball of confidence. (Is that the right term? Ball of confidence? Sounds off…) I walk around like I see the paparazzi already and it’s on these days, my shoulders are back and held high. I guess we all have good, strong days where we believe in ourselves and other days where we just want to give up, because that seems the right thing to do. Not because we want to, but because it makes sense. I suck, so I should just give up. For me, it’s that fear of failure. If I don’t exceed, the world will end so maybe I should save myself the effort. And disappointment.

So believe me, I may look confident—and most times, I am—but the truth is, I’m desperately afraid of disappointing you.

And me.