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Fear of Failure Kills Creativity

It’s been one year almost to the day that I was sent home from my job with the direction that we should plan on working from home until further notice. Two weeks later, I was let go from my position as an art director, as my company was forced to downsize by more than 50%.

With the new found free time on my hands I finally had the bandwidth to launch something I had been working on for a while - The Cheeky Life (formerly Sweet Cheeks Apparel)

At first I was very task oriented. I had very specific things I needed to complete and I knew exactly what I needed to do. However, eventually you complete those tasks and little by little my daily to-do list had become more abstract.

Over the last few months I have struggled to feel a sense of accomplishment because so much of my work has had less defined parameters. I often feel like I am floating, unable to land my feet on solid ground. I’ve spent a lot of time in my head, conceptualizing, strategizing, planning and pondering. But I’ve struggled to gain a whole lot of momentum. To turn the abstract into something concrete. Something I can deliver on. Sadly, because of this I haven’t felt nearly as valuable.

I have defined so much of my value by the amount of work I am able to complete and what I can tangibly bring to the table that I often discredited what goes unseen. I’ve struggled to execute so many of my thoughts because I usually shoot them down before they even have legs. I am so vigilant about using my time wisely that I don’t want to put work into the wrong thing. Which has had almost the opposite effect. Instead of “wasting time” trying, I am “wasting time” overthinking.

As a creative, I know the best ideas come when I’m idle. When my mind has a moment to wander and my imagination can be free. But my fear of failure has once again led me to the edge of my comfort zone and allowed me to go no further.

I feel shackled to this timid creature that lives inside of me. The one that is scared of the unknown and is paralyzed by life outside my bubble. I am not even sure why I am writing this, as this post was entirely unplanned. But I feel like someone out there can relate to this feeling of floundering and lack of productivity during this time. To those that do, I would like to encourage you to be gentle with yourself. Our lives are not measured by the tasks we complete or the money we make. Value goes well beyond accomplishments and accolades.

As for me, I will continue to push the boundaries of my small comfort zone. My heart is filled with so much compassion and there is so much more I have to contribute, I would hate for that to be limited by my own fears.

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Disclaimer: Please note, all information on The Cheeky Life is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for professional care. The intention of this blog is to connect with the community and share my personal experiences with mental health, eating disorders, and life in general. All opinions are my own.

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