Sunday, March 23, 2008

What if I fail??

**** Warning - self-indulgent, reflective post that I had to get out of my head *****

I'm a perfectionist. If I can't do something well, I just don't do it.

Academically I've always done quite well. At school I was always in the top few in the class. Don't get me wrong, I worked hard but it wasn't a real struggle. When I went to uni I failed a subject in my first year - I was mortified. Failure didn't happen to me!!! The truth was I was .. *ahem* too preoccupied with other things in my life and arrogant enough to think that I didn't need to study for the exam lol. I even went to the lecturer convinced that he'd made a mistake - I couldn't fail! He hadn't and I did. It was the only time, I made sure of that!

I'm good at my main chosen profession of programming, and also good at my 2nd profession of teaching adults. I'm accustomed to doing well at things.

Physically though it's an entirely different story. I'm crap at sports - can't run, can't catch, can't throw. (I sound like Joe the cameraman!). So now that I have a choice I just don't do those things. I don't put myself in a position where I can fail or look incompetent. I had too many years of being the last kid picked on the sporting team :( Now at family events, when everyone else is out playing cricket or basketball, I'll be the one you see on the sidelines volunteering to look after the younger kids or washing up in the kitchen. It doesn't stop me from wishing I wasn't so self-conscious. I'd like to play sometimes but I can't get over the feeling of everyone watching and laughing.

Creatively it's the same. As much as I'd love to draw or paint or sing, I just can't so I don't. It's only in the last few months that I've given myself "permission" to sketch things - no matter how bad it looks. And you know what, I enjoy it! It's in my private journal, not to see the light of day, but hey, it's a start.

Why am I writing this? I have a dream of something creative that I want to do, but I'm scared of starting. I've only told one person, and she'll be asking me very soon how I'm getting on with it, but the truth is, I'm scared. I have all of the excuses under the sun - too busy, too tired, child is too needy.. Really though, it's hard to take that first step - what if I'm not as good as I think I will be? Can I cope with the failure? How do I get started?


molly said...

You sound so much like my little sister, well, ok, shes 38 LOL

Look, the point is, what is the lesser of 2 evils, being scared to start something thus not doing it, or sitting back on ya swing at 90 saying....I wish I had tried to...

Don't live with regret you don't have to! So what if it is not to everyones taste, there were many artists who became famous many decades after their work was laughed at...they still kept doing what they wanted to do.

So what if nobody appreciates it but you? It is your work, your passion, it is what you get out of the creativity that matters.

Life is too short Kez to let it go by without trying the things we want, have the opportunity to, do it.....and enjoy it....the rest will sort itself out :)


Anonymous said...

BTW.....what's to say it wont be one of the most amazing things you have ever done?

Busy Woman said...

That was a great post !
I think that you need to go for it without being so focused on the outcome.
What if the joy of it comes in the process of the 'doing' rather than the final outcome.
What is it that you are thinking off doing ?

The Tin House said...

Kez, I know exactly where you're coming from! Do you remember just recently how I entered all that stuff in our local show? Well, part of that sudden decision to do it was based on having spent the last few years making excuses about why I couldn't do it, and how my stuff would be crappy and laughable. Well, not so as it happened. good luck with working up the courage - just like in your blogtitle - "baby steps". Lisa x

Katrina said...

Go for it!
And if you don't mind I have been tagged and I thought I would pass it along to you it's the food porn meme

Mrs. Pivec said...

How exciting that you are STARTING! Everyone is creative and everyone can draw! Can we all draw like Monet or Michaelangelo? No, but do we really need or want to? We all have our own styles and you will find yours with time and practice. Practice what appeals to just YOU! I think it's great that you have an idea bubbling inside that you want to get out and try! If you don't ever do it, the world will never get to see it. Good or bad, mediocre or fabulous, it's an expression of YOU and its you who really is the art: a living, one-of-a-kind masterpiece. :) Let your light shine, girl! :)

Anonymous said...

One of the best pieces of advice I was given was "feel the fear but do it anyway" - it is something I try hard now to do. Do it Kez - dont always wonder what might have been.

Lis said...

To quote a famous advertising campaign...Just do it!!!
Don't agonise over the hows and whys - as Molly said Live with no regrets!

ooh and I've tagged you for a Meme - something to keep your mind busy :) Go visit my blog for details!

Ciara said...

Just do it. Whatever it is just put your absolute 100% best into it & it'll be perfect cos it'll be yours.
Don't let fear control you.
You may surprise yourself. Life is a journey not a destination.


lightening said...

Great post Kez! :) I think an excellent first step is to put it into words like you have here, fears and all. One of the many benefits of blogging! :)