The most dreaded words in all existence by creatives.
Also known as creative bankruptcy, writer’s block is all about a single four-letter word. One that we rarely even want to mention.
It’s an “F word” that is frowned upon by people from all areas of life. And this word is keeping you from writing, editing, formatting, and publishing your next blog post.
Fear affects us all more than we care to admit, and it’s especially insidious when it comes to creative endeavors. Writing online is one of those activities where you’re really putting yourself out there, and the critics seem to be all too eager to tear you apart. But as we’ll see below, failure and mediocrity are not the only things we fear.
1. Fear of Failure
Countless psychological studies have shown that fear of failure is the number one barrier to success.
We fear failure because we often tie our ego to a certain desired outcome, and therefore we feel like we’re risking our sense of self-esteem with each blog post we attempt to write.
A strong enough dose of fear, and your mind goes blank.
It makes sense, doesn’t it?
Without freedom from the outcome, we are afraid of failing, and because we have chained our ego with the outcome, failure will mean that we, too, are failures.
How do you fix this?
Well, first of all, you should admit that you’re afraid. Acknowledge your fear of failure, understand that it’s human to be afraid, and then you should:
- realize that failure is the only way to ever become better.
- each failure brings you closer to success.
- failure is the best teacher you could ever have.
- the outcome is just an event, not who you are.
- focus on doing the work, not on your desired goal or outcome.
2. Fear of Success
Why would we fear success? That’s what we want, right?
It doesn’t make sense…
Well, yes, success is awesome, but we also know from experience that success also means change, and sometimes that change can be unexpected.
And we often fear that there might be some aspects of success that we can’t handle. Also, we might be afraid that our friends and family might become jealous of our newfound success, or we might feel a sense of dread when it comes to the responsibilities that we might have to take on.
As they say, with great power comes great responsibility.
This, our brain talks us out of doing the things we need to do in order to succeed, just so we can avoid the prospect of an unfamiliar situation, even if it’s something we’d consider to be heaven.
In other words, most times our mind prefers the hell it knows (failure, mediocrity) over a heaven it doesn’t quite understand (success, achievement).
Remember these things when fighting your fear of success:
- change comes whether you succeed or fail. Isn’t it better to succeed then?
- the unfamiliar is always a place of growth (or, at least, presents us with the opportunity to grow), so we should welcome the notion of unexpected change.
- we are adaptable by nature, and we can adapt to whatever changes our success will bring
- ultimately, when it comes to success, it all comes down to our ability to do the work, no matter what.
3. Fear of Rejection
Our fear of rejection is the most obvious and common negative influence that keeps us from punching those keys.
We fear that our work won’t be good enough, so why even start? Why bother publishing that article if people are going to hate it?
How do we avoid our fear of rejection?
Remember, you’ll never please everyone. You only have to find and please your audience.
Also, you should know that you can only control the work you do, but not the outcome of that work.
Once you publish your article, you have to let it go. It’s no longer yours, and your audience can do what they want with it. They can either love it or hate it, but your main concern should begin work on your next article.