How many times have you not tried something because you were afraid of failing? I’ve lost count.
In my mind if it’s not perfect I will fail. So why even try?
For most of my adult life it was like this with women. I never talked to the beautiful girl at the coffee shop or the grocery store because in my mind I wasn’t perfect. In my mind there was always someone better looking than me, funnier than me, and richer and smarter than me.
Why would she want to talk to someone like me? I’m not good looking enough. That was my self talk.
Point being, I never gave myself the opportunity to fail. I didn’t have the self confidence to even try. And that hurt my emotional growth.
There’s something to be said about failing. For starters if you fail at something it means at the very least that you tried and that in it of itself is amazing. You can’t fail unless you try.
Which brings me to why I’m writing about this. I’ve been reaching out to literary agents for representation and I’m running into a lot of fear.
Specifically, there’s one agent in particular that I would love to have rep me but they want a synopsis in order to contact them and I can’t even remember the last time I wrote a synopsis. As such I’m afraid of doing it imperfectly. I’m paralyzed to the point where I haven’t even tried.
By striving for perfection procrastination takes over and stops me from doing the things I want to do in my life. It’s like the girl at the coffee shop that I really wanted to talk to yet didn’t because I was afraid. But what if she saw me from across the room and liked me? What if she was hoping I would’ve come up to her and said hi? I’ll never know because I didn’t try.
Same goes for this particular literary agent. What if they’re just sitting there waiting for someone with a story like mine to come along? I won’t know unless I try.
So what’s stopping me? Fear.
Many of us have unconscious fears that block us from taking action towards what we want in life. They can come from a critical or unsupportive parent or from experiencing some sort of traumatic event. We need to uncover these fears and face them before we can move forward. Once we do this we can get busy living the life we’ve always wanted.
I’ve worked through a lot of my own fears with mentors and coaches but obviously there’s always work to be done. In this particular case I uncovered that it’s fear of abandonment.
It’s a wound that runs deep going back to the death of my mother when I was a little boy. That part of me, my inner child if you will, is afraid of someone saying “Thank you but I’m not interested” which to him really means abandonment.
It’s up to me to re-parent myself in these moments. Once I uncover the fear I can take my little inner child’s hand and remind him that I’m not going anywhere and that everything is okay, even if someone says “Thank you but I’m not interested”.
Nobody can abandon me today except for myself and that’s just what I’m doing if I don’t uncover my fears and courageously walk through them. I guess it’s time to go write that synopsis.
Have a great day!