The fear that stops you doing… anything

I liked this 43 Folders post about the enemies of ambition and creativity:

Remember now, we’re not talking about finishing a project or even making something that you know will be the greatest thing ever made. Just starting. What’s the barrier for you?

Well, at least in my experience, if you’re honest enough to push past those sensible, well-worn consolations of generalized procrastination and unrelenting “busy-ness,” you’ll discover how many hang-ups trace back to some dumb, shameful fear. Yeah, I know. Crazy hippie talk, right? Still.

…To make matters worse, when it comes to strictly creative endeavors like making art, your regular, old, garden-variety fears find an enthusiastic ally in the entirely rational, if philistine, voice of your Lizard Brain.

Listen for it, because that voice speaks so often and with such consistency and unquestioned authority that it can begin to sound like common sense—even intuition. It’s the voice that sees you thinking about making something, then calmly, firmly reminds you where you’re going wrong, wrong, wrong:





0 responses to “The fear that stops you doing… anything”

  1. nobody

    Thanks for putting that up… I’ve been looking for the official definition of this problem… is it perfectionism? I find myself unable to do just about anything for fear I’ll screw up or that there will be some bad repercussions eventually as a result… A couple of years ago, I probably wouldn’t have even been able to write this reply.

  2. Gary

    To an extent it’s neuroticism, which can lead to what’s called Avoidant Personality Disorder:

  3. Gary

    That’s quite similar to some of the getting things done approach, isn’t it? Lots of little things instead of a few big scary things.

  4. I’d like to answer that question intelligently but all I can hear right now is “Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies”.

    I think that’s the gist of things, rather than beating yourself up over personality disorders or productivity approaches. The majority of the words that have been written about ambition, creativity, and productivity assume you are working for a team in a workplace setting, not squeezing in very small chunks of work between Tombliboos.

  5. Gary

    Absolutely. Never mind Getting Things Done – we need Getting Things Done When Your Little Darling’s Teething.

  6. nobody

    Yeah… actually I’m almost 100% positive I’ve got AvPD regardless only I used to think it only impacted my (lack of) social life rather than the desire to do anything. I know that if I were in a job in which I didn’t get paid I could be productive (I’ve actually done a number of those) and in college there were a couple of semesters in which I only had 3-4 hours of sleep per night because I thought I had to study my brains out to be at the top (this wasn’t a question of procrastination btw since I didn’t actually take breaks) and yet the idea of working for pay seems more terrifying than having an army of spiders crawl on me. Sorry for whining so much btw and for taking so long to reply.
    BTW, thanks for the link, Heather, I’ll try to apply its advice in my daily life.

  7. nobody

    even am a person who kept a stop to my life because of I am unable to do what i want to do because, whenever i want to do something my mom says ask ur bro and do something and when i ask him he simply puts on the negative points and i dont find any motivation all the thing is i need to act according to his wish which now resulted that i cant take my own decision on my life am really feeling bad. My father never cared about our family so i need to listen to my bro like even after my pg when i got a job i need to take permission of bro and if he likes the job then i need to move or else not, with all this dissapointment i stoped doing job and even i said that never do the job until i get married because i need some support which i am not finding, i dont will i get sufficient support later or not but iam completely depressed with my life now simply staying at home, i know that i am ruining my life, what to do?

  8. Gary

    Nobody, I’m not qualified or competent to give you advice about this. I think the best thing to do would be to look for online forums or helplines you can call to speak to people who can help you with this.

  9. Nobody. you sound similar to me. I am totally depressed, withdrawn and staying in more and more until am unable to go out. Unsure what to do. Have ruined my life. Get some help asap before it’s too late!