Why are we scared of new beginnings? Well, not all of us are scared, but some are. And by some, I mean me. And by me, I mean an awful mess of torrid emotions and imagination. I blame it on my overthinking, my flawed idea of perfectionism, procrastination, et cetera, et cetera. But if I were to delve deeper, I would have to say that this fear of new beginnings (which, I just googled, is called Neophobia) stems from my another fear – Atychiphobia, which is really just a fancy word for a rather strange fear of failure.
I termed this fear ‘strange’ when my first instinct was to write stupid because from a normal person’s point of view – Failure is imminent. You are bound to fail one way or other. The real failure is when you don’t learn from it and strive harder. The “fall six times, get up seven times” mantra sounds lifting and inspiring to me. But for a few seconds only. The moment I’m done going through inspirational Instagram pages and the “Eye of The Tiger”, I fall back into the sickening quicksand of “But what if I fail?” This fear might look stupid to most of you reading, but to some of you, who have been in my place, a chill goes through your spine when a new opportunity presents itself, not a chill of excitement but a chill of sheer dread, and you start conjuring scenarios of failure and embarrassment in your head rather than giving it a chance. You know how that feels.
And this fear of failure is built up on a foundation of countless expectations. And out of these expectations, 90% are my expectations from myself! I have unfortunately put myself on a superficial pedestal and have constantly reprimanded myself for being undeserving of it. Somehow, I have superglued my head with one faulty thought –
To err is loser.
Whenever a new opportunity presents itself, I crawl back in my shell – my comfort zone of social media addiction, rom-com reruns and that one faulty thought stapled on my forehead. Even with this blog that I created almost a year ago, I tried to make it perfect aaand that’s it! To make it perfect I thought it needed time to sit and simmer and gain audience – with no content at all! And it took me a year to realize my foolishness until a dear friend asked me about this barren (imagine a desolate deserted city in a hot afternoon with tumbleweed blowing) blog. I told him that I am scared of beginning with some imperfect post and also of the inevitable writer’s block. And what he said was so profoundly harsh, true and crucial for my awakening that it felt like a powerful jolt to my passion. He said, “Really scared of beginning? You should’ve been more scared of attaching that (blog) link with no content.” He went on to say, “Ed Sheeran in an interview said that we are like dirty taps. In the beginning, dirty water flows for a while, but after that you get clean water. Not writing because you might hit a writer’s block is like .. not good (for lack of a better analogy).”
It doesn’t feel great to admit it, but I think it should be out there for people to know because I’m not pulling wool over anyone’s eyes anymore, including myself. I’m writing this because it’s therapeutic, it’s cathartic and it’s goddamn necessary. I’m writing this because if at some point in my life I try to (and I know that I will) use that one faulty thought to reject something I really want to do but can’t because I’m scared, I’ll come back, see this and realize that the facade is over. I’m not perfect (duh) and I should neither get intimidated with others’ ‘almost perfect’ lives that they present on the internet nor feel better when others are demanding sympathy for their woes. I read this amazing quote on Instagram (where else, pfft) which said –
I didn’t come this far to only come this far.
This woke me up and made me crawl out of my shell and analyse what my shell was actually made of. It was made by bricks of excuses, safety, rejection, anger, overthinking, procrastination, all set up perfectly by the mortar of atychiphobia. It was a grotesque reality of my stagnant life. I had stopped exploring the new because it was unfamiliar, risky and demanded commitment, all the while holding on to the familiar, safe and already achieved (hence absolutely boring) old reality. I wrote this at one go, with no editing or glorifying at all because it’s imperfect and damn, I need some imperfection in life! I didn’t write this to garner praise, sympathy, or criticism (especially the last one because I beat myself up a lot everyday). I wrote this because I needed to tell myself that failure is looking out for me like a competitor and a wellwisher, new is always better (thanks NPH!) and most importantly –
To err is (truly and beautifully) human. 🙂
Until the next sigh.
– Love, K.