Failure Isn’t Something to Fear

Do not fear failure. Focus on regret.

Helen Redfern

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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Last week I started a new creative project. I wanted to create something for women, who, like me have spent far too long wanting to be published, wanting to earn money from their creativity and wanting to finish the damn project — but have put it off, and off, and off.

It could be for many reasons. For example, it could be because:

  • We have children. When you give birth to a child or adopt a child, you also give birth to guilt. Doing something for yourself is now seen as a low priority and when you do, you feel bad because you perceive you’re neglecting your child.
  • Career. A career can take away forty, fifty, or sixty hours of your week. That’s not many hours left to play with.
  • Caring for others. When someone relies on you your time is consumed by their needs.

Or it could well be that the above is just an ‘excuse’ and the real reason is fear. Those practical issues above are just something to hide behind and justify why you haven’t started or seen a project through.

Over the past fifteen years I’ve had a number of practicalities to hide behind:

  • My children. I remember when we moved house to the countryside in 2012 and my children both started a new school. I decided to take the entire year off writing in order to be there for them and settle them in. And also to get settled in the house. An entire year. I couldn’t spend 30 minutes a day writing? One hour a week?
  • My animals. At that same house, I had, at the peak, about 35 chickens and five ducks. And I decided to plant an orchard, and a hedgerow, and a windbreak of trees at the bottom of the field…Lots of activities that I allowed to take me from my writing.
  • Applying to various jobs. Becoming the editor of a website, taking on other writing jobs, applying for office jobs, and setting up a cake-making business. I even contemplated setting up a ‘chicken-hotel business’.

All of these things I did, in hindsight, because I was scared of writing and where it might lead and, ultimately, because I feared failing and not being good enough.

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Helen Redfern

Notebook addict, writer and mentor. Helping creatives struggling with confidence around their writing and creativity. helenredfernwriter.com