I'm a simple girl with a li'l dream, of seeing her humble works in exquisite print, to share with all who feels for words, written with
an unsupressable urge. So indugle in my fantasies, and plow your way through my memories, greatly appreciated you will be,
if you can leave your comments here for me.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Artwork by ~zurih

I came across an article recently which asked these interesting questions:

1. What would you do if you know that whatever you do, there will be absolutely no chance of failure?

2. What kind of challenges/risk would you take on knowing that the element of judgement is removed?

3. What is stopping you from pursuing this goal right now?

The fear of failure, as you can see, is an overwhelming force. It paralyses you - and hinders you from reaching your potential. It stops you from reaching from your dream. Most of all, it compromises who you are - so that you left with "who you could have been".

Now - they even have a name for this condition. Atychiphobia.

Would the fear of failure lead to more failures? Because missed opportunities may not come by again. Because the consequences of not taking the leap of faith may outweigh whatever you are trying to save yourself from. Because you only live once.

No one describes this state of mind better than Alexander Sergeievich Pushkin:

I've lived to bury my desires,
And see my dreams corrode with rust;
Now all that's left are fruitless fires
That burn my empty heart to dust

Heck. I could have so been a CSI.


Richard said...

Pushkin really captures my deepest fears - a life unrealized.

However, my fear is not of failure. I do not worry if what I try succeeds or fails. What I fear is the inability to recover. So I avoid the big risks (job loss, spending my retirement savings on ideas that may not pan out), but that gnaws at me because who knows what I am missing out by not stretching out further, by not taking a bigger risk.

On the other hand, if it doesn't work out, then what do I have to look forward to? They say it is the experience that counts, the knowledge and transferable skills that matter, but my experience is that it is specific skills that matter. I don't want to go back to a low paying job, I don't want to go back to working 80 hour weeks.

You should check out my blog before deciding if you could have been a CSI.

There are, of course, other things for you to check out as well.

Elvina aka LaoNiang said...

Welcome back Richard!

Nice to know that you are always checking this blog out.

Well we all have our fears - and sometimes I wish I don't. I guess if I live only for myself, things would be so different.

If I can live my life all over again, I want to be a little more selfish. Maybe then, I can be more than what I am now.

Richard said...

Do you *really* wish you were (had been) more selfish?

I know I look back and sometimes think if I had been more assertive and more self-centred I would have achieved more. On the other hand, I have achieved a lot (and I know, from reading your blog these past few years, that you have too).

If you were more selfish, would you be the same Elvina? Or would you be somebody else? I know I would be somebody else.

And ... for all my faults and limitations, I still prefer to be me. When people ask me, "Who are you?", I always reply, "I am me". (ok, during my period of despondency, I wasn't so sure, but, I have since come back. A little mellower, a little wiser and definitely greyer).

Elvina aka LaoNiang said...

Ya you may be right. I might be a different Elvina - but maybe one who has her dreams fulfilled. Maybe then I wouldn't feel so empty?

I just realised that maybe it's not fear of failure that is stopping me. It might be that I have such high standards of myself, that I fear I may not be good enough in what I want to do - having seen so many talent out there in the world.

Then I wonder - if I can't be the best, why do it at all? What a self deafeating mentality, isn't it?

Richard said...

I am not sure we can always narrow down our failure to act just to fear. Someone may be avoid public speaking because they are afraid of speaking in front of crowds (I always find it surprising how a person may speak quite comfortably in a meeting, presenting points of view, getting up and illustrating examples in front of a dozen people, yet, tell that person to give a presentation in front of the same dozen people and they suddenly implode).

Over the years I have come to realize a few things about myself. One is that I love starting, but I fade out on the way to the finish. I realize that this is because I am obsessed with solving problems, but once the solution is known, then the task of implementation is mechanical and I hate repetitive, no challenge tasks. I worked briefly in a place where I got to do the diagnostics and let someone else do the actual repair - it worked out quite well for my sanity.

Another stopper for me is "What's the point?" When I was younger, I used to absorb myself in tasks that didn't necessarily have any payback. Now, I wonder "What's the point?" Why expend energy if there is no market for it?

Finally, hassle is another roadblock. I applied for a trademark a little over a year ago and (probably because I paid for it), I stuck it through to the end making revisions as necessary (but I had to learn legalese stuff to do it). The consequence is that I now tentatively have Canadian approval for it (still have to revise my US application). Anyway ... why start something that is going to be a bother and hassle? So, uncertainty is another factor - though, it is not the same as fear, in my mind.

I think being able to market is a vital, vital skill. Unfortunately, it is not something that is in me. Of course, it helps if you can surround yourself with like minded and enthusiastic people (though, not necessarily about the same topic). But, I think we get comfortable with the crowd we have, even if they are not supportive or understanding. I am looking for a good peer / mentor group that could help me.