Have you ever had a really great idea that you KNOW is possible only to be derailed by fear, lack of confidence, or just good ol’ burnout?
Or maybe the excitement simply fades and then you just doubt if it was ever a good idea in the first place.
Meanwhile, your notebook is the keeper of yet another awesome idea that doesn’t materialize.
(Who else has super cute notebooks for this exact purpose?) 🙋♀️
Why does this happen?
Is it fear of failure?
No one wants to fail, but we all have and we survived it. We got back up. Perhaps you are in the phase of getting back up after something didn’t quite work out. Either way, kudos to you for being such a badass and getting back up.
Is it fear of success?
I don’t believe it’s ever really fear of actual success, but rather a fear of something that we believe the success will bring.
Commonly, I see it as the perceived hard work that will be required if things work.
Here’s how it goes down:
We have this inspired idea. We love it. It’s fabulous… we’re gonna do it.
Then the dog needs to be walked, we need to meal prep, fold laundry, talk with our team, scroll through Facebook, study someone’s sales page for inspiration, figure out that tech thing, outline our email sequence… basically ANYTHING except the thing we were so excited about merely moments ago.
Why do we do this????
We’re smart people. We do cool stuff. What the hell???
My friend Kate and I were talking about this as it relates to procrastination and she used the words: preemptive fatigue.
If we allow ourselves to go beyond the cliche “Fear of Success,” preemptive fatigue often sounds like this:
If this works, I’ll have to be more responsible. (And I don’t have the energy or desire to be responsible for anyone or anything else.)
If this works, people will want more from me. (Then I’ll have to take more of people or be the jerk who says no.)
If this works, I’ll have to deliver even more. (I’ll have to have my $h!t together even more. And can I keep that up?)
If this works, can I really keep it up? What if I get bored? Do I have to do it forever?
Have you noticed how good we are at creating imaginary problems?
So with this line of thinking, we get tired before we even begin. We then make ourselves okay with desiring less, craving less, wanting less, having less…
Perhaps this doesn’t totally resonate with you. If it doesn’t, what’s underneath the fear of success and fear of failure or procrastination for you?
Allow yourself to get curious about this pattern.
Particularly if you have ever burnt out, dealt with chronic fatigue, grief, an autoimmune disorder, trauma, mental health challenges, or even every-day stress, the fear of burning out can feel very real.
We can’t do what we’ve done in the past to create results at the expense of our health, relationships, or sleep. #beentheredonethat
(I really like my sleep!)
So what’s the solution?
First, simply recognizing this as a pattern and acknowledging what’s under the procrastination or fear is often the catalyst to create beyond it.
Acknowledge how this “dream-big-then-stop-creating” cycle has protected and served you and what’s really behind it.
Then choose. What system or structure needs to be put in place to take action?
If you resist system or structure, rest assured it doesn’t mean you kill your creativity or free spirit.
What it does mean is you can dedicate yourself to inspired action with the support that even a little bit of structure can create for you.
While this won’t solve this for everyone, it’s a start. And a start is all we need to create even greater.
This theme among several other profound breakthroughs will be shared in an online 3-part event I’m hosting next week. Stay tuned for the details.
In the meantime, give yourself permission to go after those inspired ideas you have. If you’re experiencing pre-emptive fatigue, trust yourself to know that you can create things differently now.
You got this.