I'm afraid to make a mistake

    Every time I think of something grand, I feel fear. He urges my brain not to start: “It's a long time, it's complicated, it's impossible.” When I started to do my project , these thoughts visited me. It seems I'm not the only one.

    I have a friend whom I have known for three years. We met when I worked as a screenwriter for computer games. Three years ago he wanted to make his own game. What has changed since then? Nothing. He still wants to, but the maximum that he has done during this time is to launch Unity several times.

    In preparing to write this article, I gathered courage and asked him what was stopping him from starting. He named many reasons - no money, no time, no team, no resources ... But in the end, I still forced him to admit that these were all excuses. In fact - he is afraid.



    Fear of failure


    Each of us is afraid of failure, and this is normal. But, only as long as we have the opportunity to act in spite of this fear.

    But sometimes, ignored, this fear grows to such a size that it begins to affect a person’s behavior and adjust it. Gradually, a person begins to avoid any activity in which success is not guaranteed to him. In his quest to avoid stressful situations associated with failure, he becomes a hostage to fear. But the most dangerous thing is that he may not be aware of this.

    Signs of fear of failure
    - Fear of trying new things and reluctance to take on complex tasks.

    - Self-sabotage, procrastination, anxiety and inability to bring things to the end. Procrastination is not always due to laziness and unwillingness to work. Often it is caused by the desire to avoid criticism and negative assessment.

    - Perfectionism. The ability to undertake only that work, the successful completion of which is guaranteed.

    We don't need no education


    Strict parents are the main reason for the fear of "doing wrong," including its strongest form - OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder of individuals) . The second common cause of fear of mistakes is a traumatic experience. For example, a public failure. But we will not touch on these deviations, but consider a condition universal for all - the school.

    A school is actually an institution that trains to fear mistakes. At school, the most valuable skill is to do the job the first time, in the only right way. At the same time, any assessment affects the final result. This is not even in adulthood! What happens if you don’t pass the job the first time? You just go and remake. At school - you will receive a bold red "grade". And even if you later “retake”, this “assessment” will remain with you forever.

    For a child this is very stressful. The child depends on the parents. His comfort, safety and, ultimately, life depend on the mood of these people. And it’s very easy to influence this mood with marks.

    Someone will say, “C'mon, everyone understands how conditional these estimates are.” But many parents still demand from the children not knowledge but grades. Not surprisingly, such a system creates people who are panicky afraid of failure. By the age of 18, almost every person had an effective training in fear of mistakes - 12 years of systematic training.

    By the way, this theory correlates well with the fact that most successful people did not study well at school, and even drove someone out of the school. Perhaps it was this ability to maintain independence and not be afraid of mistakes that made them what they became. Probably, somehow they have forgotten how to fear or simply they did not have time to teach them. Somehow, they realized that failure is natural and necessary.

    Be that as it may, no one is born with fear of mistakes. It is acquired throughout life. And if so, you can and should get rid of it. Or at least take control.

    There are two ways to overcome the fear of making mistakes. The first is goal setting. The second is a gradual exit from the comfort zone.

    Goal setting


    A person who is afraid of failure, as a rule, has difficulty setting goals. But it is the ability to formulate a goal that helps us understand what we want from life. It is self-evident that without a clear goal, a person has no direction of movement.

    Psychologists recommend visualizing their goals, however, there are studies that prove that people with fear of failure are not only unsuccessful, but harmful - visualizing success inspires them with even greater fear of failure.

    What to do in this case?

    It’s best to start with small goals. No need to start right away with serious startups and global goals. Let the goals be monosyllabic, but not quite easy.

    For example, if you have long dreamed of making a computer game, start with the simplest prototype, you don’t need to think about the result, you can not control the result until you have experience. Instead of the result, think about the next step.

    Tim Kane, the programmer who invented Fallout, describes one of the plots at an early stage of development:

    “The story began in the modern world, then the hero went back in time, killed a monkey that was supposed to evolve into a human being, then made a space trip to the planet from fantasy world, where with the help of magic he moved in time to an alternative reality in which dinosaurs evolved instead of people, from there he returned to the present and saved his girlfriend. ”

    But when he began to work out this idea, she died of herself. Then the team focused on just one simple thought. A world in which only the main character is normal, the rest of the world is abnormal, but does not know about it. So gradually, step by step, this idea was formed in the form of a visual metaphor for the “abnormal world” - the world after a nuclear disaster.

    This method perfectly illustrates Will Smith with his principle of “One by one brick”:

    “When you build a wall, you don’t think“ now I will build the largest, coolest and greatest wall in the world ”. Instead, you go and lay one brick as perfectly as you can. Then one more, and one more, each time stacking them as well as possible. And so day after day. And now you have built a wall. ”



    This approach not only inspires confidence, but also allows you to concentrate on the fact that a person can control and not think about what he cannot control.

    Try to set goals that will help you master the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve your dream. Do not think about the end result, focus on the process, record every step you take so that you can subsequently have material for analysis.

    The best way to learn how to juggle
    David Kelly, the founder of IDEO talks about how he first came across John Cassidy's book about juggling for the stupid - Juggling for the Complete Klutz :

    “Half of the book is dedicated to teaching a person to drop a ball. Not how to toss him, not how to get used to his weight, as other books teach. You just drop it on the floor, again, again and again. What for? That sounds stupid. But, after you drop it five hundred times, your brain will get used to the fact that this is normal. He will stop resisting, protecting you from the shame of mistakes and holding down your muscles. ”

    David Kelly believes that this is the best approach to learning something.

    Comfort zone


    Begin retraining your brain. Try to do something that you have never done - painting, music, photography, wood carving. In a word, anything completely new and unusual for you. Something that, most likely, you will not succeed the first time.

    Thus, you will gradually begin to learn not to be afraid of failures and mistakes - because if it’s a “hobby” and if you do it “for pampering,” you will not feel the burden of responsibility in case of failure, which means that your brain will not be in constant alarm . Remember juggling?

    So you can learn not to be afraid to feel like a novice or a “noob” - later, you can spread this feeling to more important areas of your studies. And if everything starts to work out for you, you will gradually begin to feel more confident, this is called “quick victories”.

    Even if it seems to you that the fear of failure is an integral part of your personality, it is not. Where did we get this from? Once you were exactly a year and a half, and during this period you definitely did not have a fear of failure. We can say this with confidence. Because otherwise, you would never learn to walk.

    Last argument
    What ended the story with a friend who wants to make his game? I forced him to develop “through I can’t” with the phrase: “If all these three years, you did at least something every day, today you already had at least something. In the meantime, where you are three years ago. Where will you be in three more years - you should choose. ” PS 3 years ago we launched the SmartProgress project. We also faced the choice: “Try or not even start?”. Fear will probably always be, but over time, you simply ignore it and work. You work because you like it. The project acquires the first users and grows before your eyes, the desire to quit everything no longer arises. Flywheel started.





    But what a hell of a pleasure it is to receive a letter of thanks from one of our users on Friday evening. This means that we are going in the right direction.
    Although we do not have the illusion that everything is perfect, but we must admit that even now we have gained enormous experience and filled our bumps. This helps us to act more clearly and appropriately.

    On behalf of our team, I want to wish you achieve your goals .
    It’s scary not to be afraid. It’s scary not to try and stay where you are now.

    PPS If you do not have an account on the hub, you can express your opinion on this article in our blog - SmartTalks

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