As a weirdo kid, I was obsessed with horror films. My mom and I would bond over our shared love of horror and fright fest. My mom introduced me to the horror genre at a young age, and I fell in love. There was this movie I thought was ridiculous, ‘Killer Clowns from Outer Space’ but I watched it anyway. After all, by junior high, I’d become a pro at watching and living through horror films without fear. No monster had ever gotten me, and Freddy Krueger wasn’t slashing through my pillows, so why not watch this b-movie and laugh right? Wrong.
I’m not sure if it was the fact that clowns are inherently creepy (don’t fight me on this because they are), or that I watched it alone, or maybe even the thought that on some level alien clowns with sharp teeth really were going to come down from the sky and kill me, but this movie scared the sh*t out of me. Anyway, I watched it and re-watched it one million times, and to this day, I am still creeped out by clowns. Like, when I see one, I naturally want to kick him in the balls and run away. There are so many things we have conditioned ourselves to fear in life, and although I could probably write an entire dissertation on my very rational fear of clowns, this post is about the fear we have such a hard time letting go of; the fear of Failure and Success.
Trying to succeed as a writer/actor/producer in LA is unbelievably hard. Everyday, I am rejected, ignored, passed over and left wondering why the hell I even chose this route in life. The talent is God given, and while I know it’s there, getting the right people to notice me is difficult. Outside of submitting headshots, creating my own content, struggling to get auditions, and watching less qualified people succeed based on who they know or how they look, there are also one gazillion women trying to land in the same sweet spot as I am…and that is daunting.When we struggle to succeed, we will inevitably fail. I interviewed actor and ex-professional football player Terry Crews (Uptown Magazine Draft Day Interview) a few years ago and what he revealed, changed my perspective. He told me how the NFL basically threw him away, and how he went from playing on pro teams to d-leagues, and eventually moving to LA and working as a janitor, all while his wife and children were in tow. Explaining how he had always been a man that makes long term goals, and after a friend invited him to an audition he saw a new avenue for himself. He had learned to let go of fear and lead with determination.
Terry says that once he learned to stop trying to be perfect, everything fell into place. “The rule is — and this is my saying that I will say until the day I die — you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be faithful. That’s it. Being faithful is different from perfection. Perfection always sets you up for disaster. Trying to be perfect … that’s when you lie, you cheat, you steal, because you are concerned about an image. You’re concerned about looking a certain way in front of a bunch of people. But, when you are faithful you are just doing the best you can, and if I mess up, let’s start over. If I’m not right for [the role] let’s do something else or I’ll try again next time. All of the auditions actors have to go through is a whole other thing.” – Terry Crews.
I have failed at literally everything I have tried and just kept on pursuing it no matter what. The fear of not coming across as perfect, fear of failure, and of it happening to you, can hold you back immensely. If you want to write: write. If you want to sing: sing. If you want to start a business: start writing out your plan. DO IT NOW.
Do not fear failure because I am telling you right now, that you will fail more times than you succeed. If you do not have a support system, become your own support system. Don’t feel confident enough to be your own support system, grow one! Log onto Twitter/Ig/Facebook, and literally start a group for entrepreneurs and/or like minded creatives that are struggling too. You will never succeed if you fear failure. What’s the worst that can happen? No one reads your blog, or buys your book, or your mixed tape…so what!
I find myself constantly worrying, and talking about what I am doing to succeed. I’m writing, creating my own content, writing, writing, writing, blah blah blah. Why am I always holding onto what I am doing, and not allowing myself to flourish in my accomplishments thus far? Is it because compared to everyone else, my accomplishments seem minuscule in nature? Or maybe because the people around me are further ahead in life than I am? It can also be that I am living in fear…what happens when all of this work actually pays off? If I sell my scripts, and am starring in my own series and films?
Success is scary as hell. You chase, work and pray for it, but when you actually think about it coming to fruition, it can be terrifying. Honestly, that fear has been weighing me down, and I am breaking up with it today, and guess what, so are you. Instead of being controlled by fear, embrace it, use it to fuel your drive and learn from it. Meditate on your dreams, join like minded goal seekers, take courses, find a mentor, pray, and unabashedly work at creating the life you want and deserve. You got this.
“Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear.” – George Addair
Is fear holding you back? What goals/dreams are you struggling to accomplish? Share your story in the comment section below!
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