Fear of success

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by orogenesis, May 8, 2011.

  1. I've come to realize that I fear success. I'm not exactly sure why. I live my life to write new music but I'm so afraid to release it due to what others think. I fucking detest it.. who gives a fuck what others think you know? I didn't write for them. Why do I fear success? Or it could possibly be fear of failure? Any of you come across similar feelings? What helped you through them?

    Besides alcohol.
  2. I can totally relate. I've always been confident in myself in my deepest self, but due to stress about others in society not liking me or things about me or not being what society wants, it used to cripple me. Now I realize that I should live my life to the fullest, for me, and not be concerned about what others think. This is MY life
  3. I think you nailed it. Fear of success doesn't make sense. Well, it would make sense in a delusional kind of way, like if a overconfident McDonalds employee decided to apply for a scholarship to Harvard with zero redeeming qualities, and when rejected, said "They're just afraid of how smart I am."

    I'm not comparing you to this hypothetical McDonalds employee of course, just making a point.

    My advice to you would be to think long and hard about criticism. Here are some questions to consider which may help you: Is criticism valuable? What helps one differentiate good criticism from bad criticism? What helps one not delude themselves into thinking good criticism is bad simply because it makes them feel bad? How can someone learn to not take criticism poorly?

    In general, figure out a way to deal with criticism in a serious way. Just remember that every single person creating any sort of art or writing or anything has taken harsh criticism at some point in their life about their work. Best of luck.
  4. Fear of success is implying that I am afraid to take my art where I want to take it. It's truly not the people that matter. It's hard to explain the way I feel, but I'm just scared to progress. I think something is wrong with me. I believe fully in fear of success though.

    Maybe I'm just retarded.
  5. Just repeat the thought of what you're saying and it should be clear to you, if you're honest, that it doesn't make sense. You fear success. You fear favorable outcomes. You fear prosperity. You fear honorific achievement. Is it starting to become clear?

    I don't think you're retarded. It's more likely that you've just created a cozy way of not dealing with what you're afraid of.

    To end on a light note, I read your username as "Oreogenesis", and immediately became infatuated with how awesome that would be.
  6. I have that feeling sometimes.

    Its the fear of the responsibility and burden. The fear of pride and ego.

    Its not the actual success we fear...
  7. #7 infiniteawesome, May 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2011
    I totally get that. I've been graduated from one of the top Art Colleges in the country, and still can't release my artwork due to fear. Worse yet, since I've had to get a regular job, I can't even focus on my work since I'm constantly trying to save money by biking, and spending an additional ten hours per week in addition to my 40 hour a week low wage job (just above minimum wage).

    Luckily my relatives paid for the school, but I've got nothing to show for it and I feel like I've wasted my life, and in a strange way, I've come to accept my own failure now. I haven't really made artwork in the last few months after drawing every day straight since I was twelve (nearly twenty eight now). I'm just tired of life and have to admit I'm pretty depressed.

    Weed and biking are the only things that distract me and will occasionally get me inspired, but I'm so socially anxious and so afraid to do anything other than the norm that I very rarely do new things, which I don't think is too uncommon for people who work constantly just to make ends meet like me. Sure there's plenty of free stuff to do, but after a while, you start to want to do more than just run eat and sleep all day and night.

    I'm a very good artist, I guarantee it, I know my artwork is good because I came out as one of the best classical and baroque draftsmen and a decent painter, sucked at sculpture though. I took multiple classes in portraiture, painting, drawing, animation, anatomy, typography, printmaking, graphic design, illustration, comics, and basic photography as well as basic classes in oceanography, anthropology, poetry and narrative storytelling.

    I only got one B, two Cs, and one F in my twelve semesters in school. (B in Portraiture, tough teacher to please) (C in Typography, very difficult class, learned alot though)(F for Shop class, took it again and got a B-)

    So I was pretty good for gallery, okay for doing illustrations, not a good graphic designer, but capable of recognizing good stuff out there.

    At Art School, they set every thing you create in front of class during a five hour work session, they judge it on a wide variety of criteria and critique it heavily. It was intense, I must have spent 75 to 100 hours a week just making tons and tons of work.

    When I got out of school I was scared, I didn't know where to go or what to do. I didn't research galleries and places to solicit my work for two reasons: 1. I didn't think my work was ready for the gallery scene, which I still think for various reasons, and 2. I didn't have any money to invest in a professional art studio and environment as well as marketing myself.

    So I started working at a local cafe in the middle of a busy downtown kiosk. Been there for five years. I work forty hours a week and bicycle nearly 30 miles a day just to save some money on gas. I have a car, but don't really use it all that often. I never really make money, I just break even paying rent and bills and of course, food, oh and weed.

    I can't get out of my rut quite simply because I fear what the world will say, not because of hurtful things, nah, don't care about the naysayers. I suppose I just don't like talking to people about me or my artwork, I did artwork because I suck at talking to people about things even I don't fully understand and can't really completely understand. Why can't they just look at it and pay me for it and leave me alone? I don't care about what they think, hearing what they think ruins it for me.

    I got out of Art School hating critiques, even from my own closest friends. Granted, most of them were positive, so I'd smile and thank them and listen to them, but I just didn't care and still don't care and really don't like them to fill my head with their useless dribble about what they do and don't like about my work. I just don't care, pay me or don't pay me, take it or don't.

    But because of the way the Art and the World generally works, people expect you to give them that slow blowjob that is the polite conversation, usually tortuously slow. I just don't like to play ball with people and business. With art they expect you to explain yourself and your intentions because they absolutely need that entry point or else they'll supposedly look like a moron who doesn't "get it."

    I don't write artist statements, I don't tell people what the work's about unless they ask, and really it's just bullshit, because in my opinion, good art is the one thing that quite simply transcends words and descriptors. This doesn't necessarily mean there's a meaning behind those attempts at describing the piece, though there could be, it simply means that it takes you out of yourself, and you are taken somewhere the artist may or may not have intended you to be.

    I'll sell you bullshit, but it won't be the product of my artistic mind, I can't do that. Just have this cup of coffee, at least you won't give me any shit about what my intention was.

    At this point in my life, I can honestly say I'm at peace within a Hell of my own creation. And yeah, I got here because of fear. To get out, do what you most desire and simultaneously most fear.
  8. #8 Postal Blowfish, May 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2011
    I see in this a fear to release due to what others think. You keep asking why you fear success, and I keep thinking what you really fear is failure. I have often thought that the best way to success is to embrace failure. If failure cannot move you, then you overcome the possibility of failure and in my view that is the way to success... not to think about failure. How do you not think of failure? Embrace it. Failure is an opportunity to learn and a motivation to improve. If you overcome the barrier of worrying about failure, there is only general misfortune to bar you from success.

    My advice would be to accept that failure is possible and that it is not the worst thing that can happen, and not the end. The worst thing is not to do at all, crippled by worries. The worst thing is to let possible failure stop you from doing. You cannot succeed if you won't try. Understand the positives involved in a failure, and there is nothing left to prevent you from succeeding. Failure is inevitable, and it won't mean you have to stop. If you fail, you try again informed by whatever lessons you learn.

    Failure may be as good or even better than success. You can only prove this by embracing the possibility and rushing toward it with abandon. It is nothing. Don't let it pause you.
  9. I can relate. Although I don't do any sort of 'art' or 'music'...

    I think you need to find an audience that you're comfortable with so you can show your work without feeling so stressed.
  10. the alcohol helps because it gets your mind beyond the mental "people" block. people dont matter when youre drunk, and you are not afraid to reveal yourself.

    i feel this way too. i realize i have a lot of talent in any area i want it, although when i get to a certain point in a hobby, i want to stop and start at the beginning of another. it may have something to do with responsibility, or attention. attention you dont want to recieve (people constantly telling you how good you are is actually much harder to recieve than negative feedback) for me at least.

    You are a virgo arent you?
  11. You got it man. Just be straight up with the next person you engage about making art for.

    Tell them exactly what you said about how you're not down for making bullshit that isn't you. They'll probably look at you and think "holy shit man, I've found the guy."

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