The fear is something I battle with continuously. It never really goes away, it’s the voice on my shoulder that whispers to me when I’m feeling low, that I’m not good enough. On good days it lingers not too far from sight, buzzing away from the not-so-far distance like a mosquito ready to attack. On bad days when it strikes, it leaves me crippled with fear and anxiety:
You’re not good enough.
You’re not smart enough.
You can’t do this on your own.
And so it begins until it becomes relentless, until I truly believe in its web of lies. My own insecurities are the biggest barriers for me. The fear of failure and “not being good enough” has only served its purpose of hurting myself and letting down the people I care about. I have failed in two start-ups. These start-ups never hit the ground running because of me.
The first was meant to be an online magazine/ e-commerce site that I was going to launch with two friends as we were all unemployed at the same time. It was going to be focused on new and emerging talent; new designers, illustrators, writers, musicians that inspired us. The ecommerce side of our site was going to sell the work of these so-called emerging musicians and designers. I still think it’s a great idea. Sadly, it never came to life. The wireframes of the site that my friend designed are abandoned in a folder on my desktop. When it came down to it, I was a reluctant leader unsure of my own abilities. The fear began to taunt me again, what if it transpired that I was a terrible writer? Was everyone secretly laughing at me behind my back? I lacked the courage to really just go for it, and as each day passed it became harder and harder to start. Until, it just fell by the wayside.
The second start-up was an idea called CityHack co-founded by myself and a dear friend of mine. We both began with the same level of boundless enthusiasm brainstorming over bowls of Katsu curry. As time went on, I found a full-time job and became seduced by regular pay checks and the conventional move of getting a foot on the “career ladder”. I thought I was doing the right thing. Later on, the workload for our start-up became heavily imbalanced. At first it was attributed to the fact that I worked full-time, and she worked part-time. It eventually seemed more like her project and I struggled to see where I fit in and how I could contribute. Did she really need my help? It just seemed easier just to let her get on with it. It was only until recently after an honest conversation with her, I could see just how abandoned she must have felt.
Recently, I’ve realised that I don’t want to be this way anymore. A coward, scared of every possible thing that may go wrong. It’s incredibly difficult for me to break away from a conventional life and step into the unknown. After the clear cut path of school and university, to find that there is no definitive next step for me has been completely terrifying.
“We must all face the choice of what is right and what is easy.” Said a wise man called Professor Dumbledore. I’m trying to live my life by these words at the moment, trying to forget about societal/ parental expectations. Doing the things that scare me, like publishing these words online. Taking small steps into finding what makes me happy like taking up ballet again, after a twelve year hiatus. Admitting to people that I would actually, quite like to write and my blog called, The Lifestyle Philosopher will be up and running soon. Taking the courage to admit my mistakes and asking for a chance of redemption by working with my friend on our business idea again.
The fear is an arbitrary concept that serves no purpose but to keep you in your place and to batter your self-esteem. It’s all fabricated in your head, although this doesn’t make it any less real or difficult to face. Each day I’m trying to kick back at this negativity and change my way of thinking, instead of why me? I’m changing my personal philosophy to why not me? Because it’s about time I started to truly live and reclaim back my faith in myself.