When you start doing something, especially if that something is brand new to you, there is always a dark cloud of failing hovering over you. The probability that you will fail with almost everything you start doing, at least in the beginning, is pretty high. That fear of failing builds in us, it’s pretty irrational and keeps us back from achieving our full potential.
We don’t start projects because they will surely fail, we don’t give conference talks because we will mess it up and make a fool of ourselves, we don’t write blog posts because no one will read them, and the list keeps going on.
Imagine if all people who win the Olympics thought the same. I won’t run the marathon because someone will be faster than me. That is true in the beginning, but if you keep on puffing through, and learn from your failures, you will surely come out on top. I believe the feeling is linked to the Impostor Syndrome, and that the sense of failing if you try something new and don’t succeed will automatically expose you as a fraud, which you think you are.
Most people have stage fright, no one won their first marathon, and there is a microscopic chance that you will die because of that failure. You won’t die because you messed up (or didn’t) a conference talk, you won’t die if no one buys the product you made, and you surely won’t die if some troll comments on your blog post.
Don’t be afraid of failure, do your best to beat yourself, and try different things, maybe you are really good at giving conference talks, or maybe running, and you won’t even try because you will fail, and what? Is everybody going to laugh at you? So what, laugh with them, people will forget it pretty soon, and if you manage to own it and spin it off, there is nothing you can’t do.