How to combat fear of failure? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 05-19-2011, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a creative person..with lots of ideas.  I seldom start or fully follow through on any of them.  I just feel like I'm constantly thinking about doing something, but never doing it.  I get confused about which thing to start and how to do it, I have a lot of trouble making decisions or knowing what I want......but when talking to a friend today, she said that she understands how I feel and that a counselor revealed to her that it's actually fear of failure.  ...and then I remembered that a counselor had told me that about myself as well.  

 

So, what do I do about it?  How do I change?

 

Any btdt advice?  Book recommendations.  

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#2 of 11 Old 05-19-2011, 10:38 PM
 
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Hmmm...I'm kind of like that too. I have noticed recently that when I pick one thing (maybe that I've never done before) and then just do it to completion, it helps me become more motivated to do something else. Like the other day I mowed the lawn for the first time and I felt so good afterward! It was something that I thought I couldn't do, or do well enough but apparently, I can. So that kind of sparked something in me that I could do anything I want and I've been more productive than usual lately.

Another thing I'm trying to do is change my thought patterns. Like when you say you have fear of failure, I would try to tell myself that there is no such thing as failure. It's kind of like perfection. No such thing. I mean, you could do something and have it not turn out the way you expected, but that wouldn't be failure. It would just be the way it was meant to be. KWIM?

Not sure if any of that helps, but I have thought about this a lot lately. redface.gif Hope you get some better advice! (However I did not fail, I just did the best I could with what I've got...how's that? smile.gif )

Oh...books: I read one recently "feeling good the new mood therapy" Mostly about changing your thinking patterns. I really liked it. In that book he talks about how doing nothing just begets nothing and so even when you don't feel like doing something (or are not sure what to do) to just do SOMETHING and that will beget doing something else.

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#3 of 11 Old 05-20-2011, 06:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applecider View Post
just do SOMETHING and that will beget doing something else.


I agree with this. Rather than getting all hung up on the prefect thing to do, just pick one new thing that sounds like fun for today. It could be anything. The more little things you try, the better idea you'll get what you like, and the less scary EVERYTHING will become.

 

Play around with things. Get messy. Make mistakes.

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#4 of 11 Old 05-20-2011, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the thoughts ladies.  You've reminded me to just start with small things.  

See, I was talking about bigger projects...creative online businesses, blogs, selling a type of art.....etc.

I have this fear of people seeing me as flaky and never just sticking with anything.  (my dad used to put me down about it, and a friend said something to that effect behind my back)  So, now I'm so timid about doing anything because I don't want to not like it after a little while and quit. I try so hard to avoid false starts, that I just don't start.  I want to make sure that this is really something I want to do, but I have trouble with that.  Ugh, I sound like a big whiner.

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#5 of 11 Old 05-20-2011, 09:38 AM
 
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You're not whining, you're just stating your truth. Truth is always a good place to start.

 

This stuff is part of what I've worked on in therapy and for me, too, it goes back to my dad. My dad also left me feeling that anything I did finish, wasn't worth doing in the first place.
 

I don't tell my parents what I'm up to. I have a small circle of trusted people to encourage me.

 

What is something small and fun that you could start with? This board has some very nice people on it who could opt to use for encouragement.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 11 Old 05-20-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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I have not read this book myself but it has come highly recommended from numerous people I know. I hope to someday read it myself, cause I tend to have a lovely dance with fear :-)

 

Book: Feel the Fear and do it anyway by Susan Jeffers

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345487427/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0449902927&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0GQ5H1A4R8KGWG7DAT91

 

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#7 of 11 Old 05-20-2011, 11:14 AM
 
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Fear of failure can keep a person from doing.  Also, an inability to prioritize and make executive decisions.  It's really hard to know where to start if all projects in your head have equal value. 


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#8 of 11 Old 05-20-2011, 03:07 PM
 
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I think you might like some of Barbara Sher's books, especially Refuse to Choose, which is for people with more interests and ideas than time.  She has a lot of practical tips for dealing with indecision and fear and time/project management and lifestyle design.  One thing she wrote that I really like is that you don't have to finish any creative project you start...you can put a project on hold indefinitely, or just drop it when you've achieved whatever it was you really wanted from it.  I like designing new craft projects and solving the design problems as they come up, but once I have a project all figured out, it turns into drudgery.  Sometimes the drudgery is worth working through, but often it isn't, so I go on to the next thing.

 

Also, you can start on a small scale, and just play.  If the big blank page is too intimidating, tear it into quarters.  Start a blog, and only post when you really have something to say.  A business can be a small side thing.  After a while, synergy can start to work in your favor.

 

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#9 of 11 Old 05-20-2011, 04:24 PM
 
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Quote:
One thing she wrote that I really like is that you don't have to finish any creative project you start...you can put a project on hold indefinitely, or just drop it when you've achieved whatever it was you really wanted from it. 

 

bigeyes.gif

 

But... but... it's wrong to start a project and not finish it!  It's a sign of a weak character. I'm joking, of course. Mostly.  Actually that kind of boggles my brain. 

 

I'll have to think about this for a while...


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#10 of 11 Old 05-25-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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well, I was told just that ...by a family member I like/I get a long with/who has respect for me etc ...

 ... that it was worrying her that I would start so many things without finishing etc ...

for a while it worried me

I wasn't upset as how she had presented her concern

just in case really it was some serious flaw in me ....

 

but then, one day last spring, I just picked out some craft project that was only 80% completed .... and that had sad there for about 12 years maybe ?

and during a playdate in a park with another mom, I finished it whilst talking with her

and now I can use that object frequently, AND I have the momory of the nice time spent in the park talking, each time I pick up the object

so now i worry less about unfinished things

(unless space for storing stuff is really becoming an issue)

because I feel that one day 'the time will be right" for me to effortlessly finish whatever I will put my mind to finish

 

and it's also the way I work around my home, when I have household chores that need doing, I can rarely start one, finish it then start another one

I usually end up starting many tasks one after the other, just because I suddently thought that this needed doing too

and it feels strange in the middle of it when all is started and nothing is finished

but then, as long as I manage to finish what I thought needed doing .... the order in which it was done ... not so important anymore ....

 

also it's something to do with allowing onself the right to change one's mind over time

we don't have to always like the same things over and over ...

 

 

 

 

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#11 of 11 Old 05-26-2011, 08:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaske View Post

I think you might like some of Barbara Sher's books, especially Refuse to Choose, which is for people with more interests and ideas than time.  She has a lot of practical tips for dealing with indecision and fear and time/project management and lifestyle design.  One thing she wrote that I really like is that you don't have to finish any creative project you start...you can put a project on hold indefinitely, or just drop it when you've achieved whatever it was you really wanted from it.  I like designing new craft projects and solving the design problems as they come up, but once I have a project all figured out, it turns into drudgery.  Sometimes the drudgery is worth working through, but often it isn't, so I go on to the next thing.

 

Also, you can start on a small scale, and just play.  If the big blank page is too intimidating, tear it into quarters.  Start a blog, and only post when you really have something to say.  A business can be a small side thing.  After a while, synergy can start to work in your favor.

 


Yes, it was a good book.  I am this way - only the learning curve interests me... follow-through sucks.  I know others this way.  I am an INTP and it is just how I am.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

 

 

bigeyes.gif

 

But... but... it's wrong to start a project and not finish it!  It's a sign of a weak character. I'm joking, of course. Mostly.  Actually that kind of boggles my brain. 

 

I'll have to think about this for a while...


Stop beating yourself up.  That prevents anything positive from happening.  It is what it is.  People who always finish can have problems from that, too... for example, my dh never just quits anything... he has stayed in abusive jobs for years b/c of this.  Don't let someone else's values make you feel bad.  What are your values?  I'd say you are very creative in coming up with so many ideas. 

 


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