l agree in part with Mr. Land. The fear of failure can absolutely block our creativity. You can’t think of new possibilities and dare to do something never done before without also risking failure.
Fears in general are like a layer of ice that covers your inner fire, your true essence, including your creativity.
But what if you ARE afraid? Does that mean that you’ll never be creative? Is creativity just for folks who feel no fear?
To answer this, let’s back up for a minute. When you’re afraid of failure, what are you REALLY afraid of?
Failure in and of itself is neither good nor bad. A famous quote attributed to Thomas Edison says, “I haven’t failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways NOT to make a light bulb.”
“Failure” here is simply a way of ruling out possibilities, eventually leaving what WILL work.
That’s a really healthy way to approach it.
Is it typical of most people? No. (Which is why the quote is discussed and shared in the first place.)
So if failure isn’t what you’re really scared of, then WHAT?!
You might say that you’re afraid of:
- Looking bad
- Being laughed at
- Being proven wrong
- Being embarrassed
But really, how often have people actually died or been seriously injured from any of those things?
So what is it really?
It’s not that we’re afraid of someone laughing at us. We’re afraid of being ridiculed and humiliated, of being pushed out of our communities and families. Of being left alone to die. Forever. Alone.
Yes, fear is a drama queen. One who takes herself VERY seriously.
And what do you do when you feel afraid?
Sometimes you battle against it, pushing it down and plunging ahead despite it.
Sometimes, you give in, often in ways that are so subtle you don’t even realize you’re doing it.
You put off writing your book. Or starting a new hobby. Or starting a new business. Or wearing the clothes that YOU really like. Or sharing your ideas at the meeting.
You tell yourself how stupid you are for not getting things done. You call yourself names like lazy, idiot, procrastinator, loser, chicken. You think about all the times you’ve “failed” or been laughed at, and then you stick with what you know – even if you don’t like it.
You tell yourself that it doesn’t really matter. Your ideas weren’t that good anyway. It probably wouldn’t have worked out. If it were such a good idea, someone else would have thought of it. Someone better qualified will do it.
And YOU – your dreams, your ideas, your thoughts, your expression of who you really are – stays under the ice.
What if fighting your fear and quitting weren’t the only two options? What if there was a third way?
What if the situations that bring up the most fear for you, that feel the hardest and scariest, were your biggest opportunities for healing and transformation?
What if it were possible for you to learn how to find the gold buried in the crap?
There are some key steps you can take toward this right now.
- Realize that everyone’s afraid. When you try something new, when you play bigger than you ever have before, you run into the blocks that have kept you from going there before. As long as you’re in this life, you’re likely to feel fear from time to time. Let that be okay.
- Accept your fear. Acknowledge it. Feel it. Don’t be afraid of it.
- Resist the urge to make it MEAN something. It doesn’t mean you need to quit or that you’re wrong to try. It doesn’t mean you ARE a certain way (like lazy, chicken, a loser, a failure). The only thing fear means is that you’re feeling afraid. Tell yourself, “Okay. This is what it’s like to feel afraid. I can do that.”
Sometimes, that’ll be enough to let you continue on. That’s great. Go for it.
Sometimes, it won’t. Sometimes, the fear feels too big and too real and too pervasive. That’s when you get help. This is the kind of thing I help clients with every day.
And sometimes, you’ll be ready to let the fear be a launching pad for deep transformation.
You see, the fears we feel are signs of what we’re looking for most in life, like:
- Being loved
- Being accepted
- Experiencing that we’re worthy of love
- Experiencing that we’re good enough
Noticing what we fear gives us the doorway to fulfilling our deepest needs. It’s a way of taking what feels like the crap of everyday experiences and finding the gold that’s hidden inside them.
Once you learn to do this, every situation is an opportunity for your deepest transformation.
This is what I teach participants in the Clear Your Fears course – how to spot their fears and find the gold within. More than that, though, we practice it together. We use a powerful and elegant energy technique to release our energetic and emotional connection to the fears AND give ourselves what we most want in our lives.
If you want this for yourself, if you want to do more than give in to fear or fight against it, then join me. Check the Group Series page to see when a new group will be starting.