Fear of Failure: A Personal Analysis

First off, I’d like to give a shout out to my buddy Lee Allen who donated to my coffee fund on Valentine’s Day! Your gift of caffeination is much appreciated and I will raise my next cup of Hazelnut Creme Melitta with unsweetened cashew milk in your honor! Now, onto the show! barrierThose of you who didn’t know me from Eve before finding this blog have no idea what a struggle it was for me to start doing this. I wanted to share myself and what I’ve learned over the years, but I was so scared, so inordinately terrified that I’d start writing here, talking about my tiny little portion of this thing called life and that no one, not a single soul, would read it. I hemmed and hawed over it for months, tossing ideas around with The Hubs and a few choice friends, but never quite making the leap. A few very special people gave me the push I needed to start A Measured Life, and once I allowed myself to accept that failure was POSSIBLE, but that writing this blog had value, regardless, I took the plunge and haven’t looked back.

“No one except your husband knows of the cautiousness at the heart of your life. Your adulthood has been a progressive retreat from curiosity and wonder, an endless series of delays and procrastinations. You wanted to be so much, once, but life kept on getting in the way… You settled. Shunned creativity, flight, risk, never had the courage to give a dream, any dream, a go.”
Nikki Gemmell, The Bride Stripped Bare

I find myself in the same spot again, for a different project. For years now, I’ve been talking about writing a cookbook. I have a rough layout, have written several tales of food discovery, and have a few dozen recipes. I even set a goal of having a complete first draft by the end of 2016. It seems, though, that I’ve been unconsciously avoiding working on it. There’s one excuse or another as to why I don’t sit and write and just get it out there: too busy, too tired, don’t wanna, etc. But the truth is, I’m afraid. Just like I was before I started here. It’s not that I doubt that I’m capable of writing a cookbook, I am. It’s what comes after that scares me. I know less than nothing about publishing. I know I can self-publish, but I need to weigh the pros and cons, etc. And that uncertainty weighs so heavily on me at times that I stagnate and avoid the very task that haunts me.

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Me being me, I did a little Google search on fear of failure, and within minutes came up with some tips on how to deal with this situation. I’ve lost more than 100 lbs and kept it off for 18 months now. I’ve been blogging here at A Measured life for more than a year, rarely posting fewer than three times a week. I when I set my mind to something I’m capable of completing tasks that, in the beginning, seemed monumental. Mind Tools advises looking ahead and trying to figure out what the worst possible outcome could be. It’s a friggin’ cookbook, Andrea. The absolute worst thing that could happen is no one would read it. Please. That’s pretty unlikely. So the worst thing that could legitimately happen would be only 10 people would read it. So? Is that really so terrible? Even if that were the case, imagine how much you’d learn having written a cookbook!

The point is, I don’t want to wake up in twenty years and say to myself “Why didn’t I ever write that cookbook?” Instead, I’m going to just do it.

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14 comments

  1. Anne Lamott in her book “Bird by Bird – Some instructions on Writing and Life,” suggests that we write as
    gifts for people we love. It’s true. You have this feeling inside of something you know . . . .something you
    experienced, something that touched you. You have a need to write it down and share it.
    So simply think of that as what a book or story is all about. Sharing it. She continues: “publication is not
    going to change your life or solve your problems. It will not make you more confident or more beautiful, and
    it will probably not make you any richer.” What it is is a gift to anyone who might read and share it and like it.
    And in the end, that’s what’s most important anyway. So yes, go on! It’s a success just to write it; in fact,
    it’s a success just to try!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If you don’t have it done by November (and this is a long way off!). I challenge you to finish it during NaNoWriMo. I did it once and wrote a novel. It was a crazy experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Andrea, I love your writing, and you are an inspiration, here and on the other place (!) I’d like to put in the first order please. To actually pay for it. (Might need to look at overseas shipping costs!)

    Like

  4. Your blog is always great and your food recipes are inspiring! Go for it, use that awesome determination I know you have and write YOUR cookbook!!! It will be deliciously great!!

    Like

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