Underperforming because of fear of failure

I’ve been experiencing a weird set of emotions in the last week, well the last month but it has been amplified in the last week. For those of you who have read a lot of this blog, you’ll know that it’s been almost two years of roller coaster emotions for me. But now I’m stepping it up, and I am trying to shield myself for that eventuality.

Like I mentioned in my last post, I’m trying to embrace the Elizabeth Gilbert concept, but I’m not sure how well I’m going to do with it – and I fear that I will fail simply because of a defence mechanism I know I have.

Not trying hard enough
I have this thing that I do, and I know I am not alone in this one, where I make sure that I don’t put 100% into things, so if I fail I can convince myself that I wouldn’t have failed if I had tried harder. This is something I think I had always known about myself, but I had a realisation during My Year of TED about just how much this protection mechanism has impacted on my life.

Maybe I should give an example of this, let’s take my higher school certificate for instance (this is the final year exams that determine university entrance in NSW). I was never great at studying at school, which may come as a surprise to some people. I had a good memory, I was a good student and I had no problems with exams – so I did well at school without studying, and I sometimes wonder what I would have done if I had studied hard. I had also decided to go for a Bachelor of Arts at my local university, so I knew I did not have to excel in my grades to get in.

Fear of failure
Maybe it is down to my perfectionism, maybe it is self-confidence, but there has been this underlying fear of failure that has permeated my life and held me back. It stopped me achieving, stopped me taking risks, and resulted in me having to create a project like My Year of TED to finally overcome these issues.

The fear of failure doesn’t go away though, and I feel myself slipping back into the old routine. Today I have finally stopped playing with the ebook and it is up on Lulu for purchase. I have placed the content onto the dinkylune website (www.dinkylune.com) and I have nothing else prepared. Instead of doing all of the things I know I should be doing to start publicising 30 days of Drive, I am procrastinating like mad.

There may be part of this that is about not knowing exactly how and where to start, but that is just an excuse because I know a lot of the things I need to be doing. I think that I’m doing it because I’m scared out of my mind about putting this book out into the world. What if I do everything I “should” do and no one buys it? What if people buy it and they don’t like it? The underlying part of all of this is that old nagging thought “who the hell do I think I am charging people for my writing?”

Doing it anyway
I am proud of the fact that I’m pushing through this and just publishing it anyway – now I have to push through the other bits and publicise it. I want it to do well, I think that it could be a valuable resource for people and the feedback I have had so far has been very positive.

This post is a little bit all over the shop, pretty much like my brain at the moment. I will end the post with the book. Below is the description, cover and the click to buy link – if you have enjoyed any of this blog and thought that the experience I have shared have been valuable then please consider sharing this post.

I will not be pushing this again on this blog, other than putting a buy me link in the menu, and maybe an occasional tweetable at the bottom of a post – but I am bound to bring up some of the thoughts and emotions I will go through, depending on how the book goes 🙂

30 days of Drive – A practical guide from My Year of TED 

Learn how to identify your authentic self, and align your life with the real you for ultimate fulfilment.

Friedrich Nietzsche once said “He who has a WHY to live can bear almost any how”, but what if you don’t have a WHY? Or you don’t know what it is? Knowing our WHY, our underlying beliefs and values, is one of the most fundamental requirements for human beings – it was the main reason for My Year of TED, and it is the reason I’ve written this ebook.

I was rapidly approaching 40 and was still unsure what I wanted to be when I grew up, except that I knew I wanted to be more. 30 Days of Drive was my successful attempt to find out what my WHY was. It was the sixth activity in My Year of TED (a year-long self-development project based around the popular TED Talks), and one of the project’s defining moments.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.There were 20 other activities during My Year of TED that contributed to my personal development. Activities like 30 Days of Choice, where I learned not to be so passive in my decision making; 30 Days of Balance, where I defined my perfect day; and 30 Days of Time, where I learned how to start shifting my time perspective away from being past negative. All of the changes gave me insights into becoming my authentic self, but the process of 30 Days of Drive was the most influential.

This ebook, and the accompanying workbook, will lead you through the process I developed to successfully find out what my WHY is and how I could contribute to the world in a way that was better aligned with my values and beliefs. Based around the concepts from TED Talks by Simon Sinek and Tony Robbins, the ebook will run you through a 10 step process where you will identify the blueprints that are not working in your life; your core values; what you need from your environment; your belief and cause; and finally your Why, How and What.

You’ll consider questions like:

  • “Why is it important for you to do this activity?”
  • “When have you been most happy and fulfilled in the past? And what were the underlying values in those situations?”
  • “Are there any themes in the jobs/roles you have enjoyed in your life? What do these tell you about the things you need in your environment?”
  • “Based on purpose, belief, cause, and values we have defined, what actions do you think would best satisfy your belief? What would be the result of these actions?”

If you’ve ever tried to work out what you ‘should’ be achieving with your life, or how you can satisfy that unknown need inside – this book will provide you with a process to follow so you can finally get some answers.

Thank you for reading my blog, I hope that you think this is valuable enough to share.
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