when fear of failure is sneaky

when fear of failure is sneaky

I'll begin this with a personal story — one I believe will resonate with a lot of y'all, even if it's within a very different context in your own life.

I've posted before about the band I sing in, Más Moss. So far, we've written over a dozen songs together, played 4 live shows and counting this year, recorded and released a (now physical) EP and our first wearable merch, and we get together to practice almost every week.

That might sound like a lot to some people, or very little to others, I guess depending on who you are.

Considering that we're four people in our 30's with day jobs and other responsibilities, I used to consider it a triumph simply that we got together so regularly to practice (and rarely, to write). That's great and all, but as we've started to acknowledge more recently, rehearsal is only one small piece of the equation if we want to continue to get better, create more new music, share it with the public, and not go broke in the process.

Our bass player Seth, who works in the music industry primarily as a sound technician, is the one who has his act together the most when it comes to the administrative parts of the band: he got us off our butts with booking shows; he's always sending and posting new ideas for the band, like where/who we might play with; he managed most of the process for our EP release and the t-shirt; he's always exploring the best gear for us; and recently, he's been posting a lot of ideas for songs.

About a month ago, Seth expressed a totally valid concern that, as a whole, we really didn't seem to be showing up for the band outside of rehearsal.


At first, I wanted to make excuses for myself: Work has been super stressful. I've been really busy. When I do have time to relax, I just want to veg and watch Gilmore Girls and West Wing. I don't really know how to do a lot of the things the band needs. It's who you know, or the money you have to invest, and I got neither.

Getting to the FULL Truth

But hell, I am a therapist after all, and I usually know better than to buy my own bullshit, even if it takes a little time to suck it up and admit it. All of those things above are certainly true to some extent, but I knew there was a deeper reason — one related to mindset – that I needed to explore.

And the answer actually took me by surprise: I realized that I was afraid of failing.

"No way," my ego wants to say. "I do ALL THE THINGS! I've always wanted to be in a band, and I'm in a band. I've wanted to blog and start a solopreneur gig, and I have this website and coaching business. I got my masters and followed my passion in my career. I wanted to do yoga teacher training and I did it!"

But, I realized — ego defenses aside — if I'm really honest with myself, I want to do all the things, but I don't want to try that hard at them, because then no one can blame me if I'm not super successful. And I can't blame myself either, because *shrug* it wasn't like I really tried. If I play small, I can't be expected to make big results, so I can't truly fail.


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