• Sara Coutant

afraid to fail.

I'm an enneagram four, wing three. And let me tell you, that wing three part of me has been hitting hard amidst COVID. I got into a good rhythm during our intense quarantine, but now that my life is busy again it's easy to lose sight of my need for rest. I still feel the pressure of needing to constantly accomplish something.


it's easy to lose sight of my need for rest.


I'm grateful that I'm driven. I wouldn't change that. I have big dreams and I will do whatever it takes to accomplish them. But recently I've found myself burnt out and evaluating my motivation.



recently I've found myself burnt out and evaluating my motivation.

I'm a musician. Recently, more than ever, I've had the chance to focus on and pursue this. It's lifegiving. It feels like I'm finally doing what I was made to be doing. I'm seeing lots of dreams come to fruition. But I think every other artist can also relate to that looming feeling of not doing enough. The reality stands that there will always be someone out there doing more or better. It's a daunting thought that can drive me to work harder or drive us to discouragement. 


But I think every other artist can also relate to that looming feeling of not doing enough. The reality stands that there will always be someone out there doing more or better.

With art, as well as other fields, there's not often a clear ending point. There's always more to create and greater heights to push myself to. There's always more content to push or connections to be made. And in the world of social media, I find a sea of people doing exactly what I'm doing and somehow getting a greater response. It's easy to get in my head and get discouraged. It's healthy to keep pushing, to keep grinding, and to not give up. I will remain a hard-worker who takes chances to make things happen for the rest of my life.


There have to be practical ways to combat the imposter syndrome and fear of failing that tends to haunt artists. I often find myself feeling like a total joke, afraid of how people might judge me for putting my stuff out there. I've grown a lot in that, and have found more boldness the older I get. But as I push through the days of feeling like I'm not doing enough, I have a few things to remind any of you who might feel the same tension.


I often find myself feeling like a total joke, afraid of how people might judge me for putting my stuff out there.

DON'T STOP.

Like for real. Please don't stop. Don't stop creating even when you feel like you've got nothing. Push through the block that tells you that you are a joke. Push through the emptiness when you have nothing to write down or draw on a canvas. Push through and create until you find something worth sticking onto. It's a muscle that needs to be worked, and once you get out of the habit it's harder to get back in.



DON'T GROW BITTER TOWARD THOSE WHO ARE GETTING THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT YOU WANT.

It's easy to be hyper-critical of ourselves which leads us to feel bad for ourselves. We eventually find ourselves bitter at people who are getting what we want. Sometimes we even grow bitter toward people we love and lose the ability to be happy for them because we're focused on what we don't have. Often that's because we're not putting in the work we should be, and somewhere in the back of our minds, we know that. It's easier to be bitter toward other people than own up to the fact that we're not doing the hard work and research we should be. Don't let bitterness eat at you. Celebrate the victories of those around you and use it as motivation for yourself to work hard and be the best you can be.


Sometimes we even grow bitter toward people we love and lose the ability to be happy for them because we're focused on what we don't have.


KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

A little less than a year ago, I found myself seriously discouraged. I felt silly telling people I was pursuing music as a career when I felt like I was barely scratching the surface of all the work that needed to be done. So every single week I started keeping track of all that I was doing to further my music career. It was the greatest encouragement/motivation I've found. I continue to track music-related tasks, even down to just playing the guitar or posting about my Spotify page on my Instagram story. It keeps me focused and centered. It also reminds me of all that I am doing for my music career when my brain tries to tell me that I'm a wannabe. I highly recommend keeping track of your successes. When you take yourself seriously other people will as well.


I felt silly telling people I was pursuing music as a career when I felt like I was barely scratching the surface of all the work that needed to be done.


JUST GO FOR IT.

I think the fear of failure keeps us from trying a whole lot of things. Then it's a toxic cycle. We don't do what we want to do so we don't get where we want to be. Take those creative risks. Strategize what you notice from other artists and don't be afraid to try the same. Like I said before, when you take yourself seriously other people will too. Sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it. I think there's goodness waiting for people who aren't afraid to take creative risks. The more you combat that fear of failure the more life you find. 


Then it's a toxic cycle. We don't do what we want to do so we don't get where we want to be. Take those creative risks.


REMEMBER IT'S MORE ABOUT WHO YOU ARE THAN WHAT YOU DO. 

While I'm all for the hustle and looking at life to see how you can do more, the fear of failure often stems from an obsession with all that you're "doing" and not all that you are "being". At the end of the day, success means nothing if you hate who you become. YOU have value just for existing outside of everything you bring to the table. The people that love you know that and see that. You have so little to prove. The second you start creating out of that mindset you become virtually unstoppable. Fear kind of just melts away. 


At the end of the day, success means nothing if you hate who you become. YOU have value just for existing outside of everything you bring to the table.


DON'T FORGET TO TAKE A BREAK AND GET SOME REST. 

This one can be tough for me. Rest is so important but it can lead me to feel guilty for all that I could be doing. But you need to rest. So let yourself breathe and have some mindless downtime to recharge.



At the end of the day, please don't be afraid to fail. Please don't be afraid of falling on your face. You're going to be okay. Celebrate all that you're doing and keep pushing for more, then let yourself rest. You've got this, kid.

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