Fear Has Gripped Me

Not feeling good enough and that you'll be found out for the fraud you are? Yeah, I know the feeling. Truth be told, it's probably fear doing the talking and not an accurate representation of the facts. Here's me freaking out (and back to reality).

I’m Freaking Out!

I’m scared s#!*less right now. I’ve had a hard time creating, and it sucks. Last week I was happy, elated even, when I realized I had the opportunity to focus on doing another video project, something I’ve been wanting, and pushing, to do. Now it’s a reality and I feel like a failure before even starting. 

I love video. I love the creative process involved, but I enjoy it most when doing it for myself. Doing it for work gets me completely lost. Even writing this article is hard when I try to think of what to say rather than just letting it blurt out like a raving lunatic. Is it possible that I’ve lost my mind? Am I completely useless? Only a pretender? In an attempt to calm myself I say “No, you’re just scared”. But why, then, can’t I get out of this fight or flight response? I know that’s what it is. Why can’t I get my ‘superior human brain’ to acknowledge and control these debilitating emotions?

This has happened before, usually when I have a stressful deadline or a tight budget with high expectations. ‘What if I’m not good enough to get this done the way they want it? Surely, there are other professionals that would get this done in a matter of minutes. They would be better suited to this task and the client would definitely be much happier…’ These are things that go through my mind, and I know I’m not alone. 

I feel some relief just sharing this with you. There are brief moments of clarity that allow me to see the distant glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel – I dare to hope. 

I have a meeting first thing today. It’s me, another designer, and the boss. Not just the boss of the creative department, they also happen to be the owner of this prestigious company I work for. I never fear these meetings, probably because I always have something constructive to say. I’m good with strategy because I can see the mountain-top and can usually devise a way to get there. 

—[pardon this short break. I took some time to regroup and check an old article]—

Disaster Averted

In the matter of a few minutes, I cleared the debris and devastation that was my emotional torrent. Just expressing these feelings, getting them out of my chest allowed me to start to take a bit of control. The further I went, the more command I felt. Then I remembered that I wrote “Fight Your Fear of Failure.” I was initially worried that, perhaps, I had led people astray. If I wrote an article about it, how could I succumb to it? Dave…you’re a dummy. 

In there I gave some advice about taking ownership. “At least making a plan gives me control over the situation.” I’ve tried just working through this block over the last few days, making draft sketches and planning, but I never jotted down my fears, instead allowing them to fester and build in the quiet parts of my mind. I suppose this is why people use journals…

I think one of the worst things we do to ourselves is belive that we have to show the world that we are amazing and put together 150% of the time. In a world of Instagram filters, YouTube masters with millions of subscribers, and everyone else who portrays that air of confidence, it’s no wonder we feel more ill-at-ease than ever before. 

I guess the best thing to come of this is exactly what I was looking for, and needed. When we start to doubt our abilities then everything else we work towards becomes near impossible. “I’m a fraud” is fear making the decisions for us. Sometimes it’s a constant battle to win the war of being the one calling the shots, and sometimes it’s just a small battle that makes a big impact. 

This may not have been extremely useful to you, but it was exceptionally helpful to me. While it started as a way to dump my emotions and clear my head, I chose to keep it in the blog in the event that it helps someone else (or even remind myself of these days). None of us are perfect. You may see people that appear to be mythical beings online, but more often than not, they are just as scared as the rest of us and just trying to figure out their way in life. 

Thanks for listening. Let me know if you ever have these thoughts, fears, and how you fight them in the comments below. 

Until next time!

~ Scaredy-cat Dave

Featured Image: Thanks to Andrei Lazarev!

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