Nobody likes to admit they’re scared or afraid – I definitely don’t. It shows weakness, something everyone prefers to hide deep within. Strength, independence, fearlessness, bravery, success, that’s what’s selling best, that’s what everyone wants to talk about, that’s what you’re taught to appreciate. Fear and failure are to be avoided. Sometimes at all costs. Silenced, forgotten, ignored.
But they shouldn’t be. And that’s exactly why I’m writing here, now.
Because, over the past few years, I have learnt to appreciate both fear and failure.
Yeah, it’s still shit, it’s still awfully hard to deal with, I still don’t like it (who does?), but I do appreciate it. As Yoda says: the greatest teacher, failure is. And he’s right. As ever.
I’m generally easily scared. Of course, I don’t willingly show it – barely anyone does – but I’m constantly afraid of something. And this “something” always, though usually under many different names and forms, boils down to a simple, universal fear of failure. The everlasting fear of ‘what ifs’. What if it turns out a mistake, a disappointment, a total mess? What if nothing comes out of it? What if I lose?
But you never really lose anything. Contrary to popular belief, failure and fear don’t take anything from you, unless you consciously let them. Though even then, you have to give. Voluntary. They won’t take it (your time, your dreams, your hopes and plans) themselves. And the other way round, I guess: they won’t give you any valuable lessons, if you don’t reach for them, take them yourself.
And this is what, I think, we should all start talking – maybe even shouting – about.
And so I am, in my own, twisted way.
You see, I’m dealing with both fear and failure in my life right now. And it’s hard, obviously. But instead of getting into details with what’s still fresh and makes me uncomfortable, I decided to channel all my energy into my other fear. Which, by the way, has everything to do with this neglected blog.
I’m afraid of publishing in English.
Here, I said it.
Not of writing itself (I’ve been doing this long enough), but of showing what I have written. Of getting nasty feedback and making embarrassing mistakes. Of getting confirmation that it really is shit and I shouldn’t be doing this. Silly, especially that I know for a fact (been blogging in Polish for years, after all) that people are not that eager to read me, left alone comment. The only person who really cares and stresses about it with no end, is me. And it’s only me – and my silly fear – that is standing in my way, blocking the doors to my possible English audience. However silly though, the fear is real. I’ve been thinking about starting an English blog for over two years now. I’ve planned, I’ve made notes. And yet I’ve never done it, explaining it the usual way: not enough time, not enough knowledge, not enough courage, not enough ideas, not enough skills. Never ever enough.
The pattern is the same as with anything else in my life: fear of failure prevents me from even trying. Which gets me nowhere. And I truly hate it.
I shouldn’t care about any of my ‘not enoughs’.
I embark on a journey to fail. Possibly. And so what?!
People could say I’m shit at it, but at least they wouldn’t say I didn’t try. And that will be something. More than nothing, anyway.
I’m not asking myself to stop being scared, “get over it” and simply “be brave”. No. I’m asking myself to do whatever I want, need, should or plan to do, with fear by my side.