The Fear of Failure (VEDA Day 13)

The Fear of Failure (VEDA Day 13)

Hello Rebel, and welcome back to my life.

Today I want to talk about the fear of failing, inspired by Tessa Violet’s video on the subject, you can find a link to her (probably much better) video in the description below.

So growing up, I was never really afraid of failure. Everything always just sort of seemed to work out for me, which I thought was because I was kind of awesome, though I later realized it was mostly because of the many, many social privileges I enjoy.

When I got a little older and the world didn’t cater to me quite so much, I still wasn’t afraid of failing because I felt like I could always just START OVER again.

The idea of a completely fresh new start never really worried me very much, even after I got married and had kids. And again, we can see social privilege playing a pretty big role in that.

Like, I’ve always had really good support structures in my life, and whenever I’ve gone looking for a job, I’ve found one pretty easily, so there never seemed to be much danger if I tried to do something and it didn’t quite work out.

I’ll admit that this made me FEEL pretty good, but I think it might also have hampered the stuff that I DID try to do.

Like it was okay if I didn’t publish my YouTube videos on a consistent schedule because if YouTube failed, I always had my writing to fall back on.

And it was okay if I didn’t write every day and produce my books in a reasonable timeframe, because if writing didn’t work out, I could always go get a job. I’d done it before.

Like it’s really great that I’ve never felt like failure would lead to total loss and, like the end of my life, and I’m very lucky to have grown up in an environment where that was the case.

But the LACK of that fear also made me … um … what’s the word. FUCKING LAZY.

So in October after Nerdcon: Stories, I decided I was going to start truly investing myself in this YouTube channel and treating it like an actual job.

Then, in January, I created the office channel in my Discord as a productivity group with other people, and since then I’ve been treating my writing as real work, too: I do it every day, no matter what, no fail.

So, it’s been working. I’ve stayed consistent, and I’ve been more productive than I’ve ever been in my life. AND I started expanding what I was doing, morphing from a literally self-published author to an indie publisher and even starting to work with other people.

But along with that has come this incredibly powerful fear of failure, which is a very new thing to me.

My success or failure no longer feels like it “belongs” exclusively to me. It will materially affect other people, and not just people who read my books or you out there who watch these YouTube videos.

That is a scary feeling, and one I am not at all used to. Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming, although most of the time I realize I only feel that way because of how incredibly lucky I’ve been in my writing career so far.

And I can see in my own actions, my plans and my personal schedule, that this fear of failure has made me more productive, better at maintaining communication with the people in my life, and more reliable.

Though I still have a long way to go on all those things. Sorry.

I really don’t want to fail at all the things I’m trying to build and do. I want them to succeed.

I want to do well for myself and my family, of course, but I also want to help other people succeed and achieve what they’re trying to do with THEIR lives.

And it’s the fear of THAT sort of failure that keeps me working harder than anything else.

But at the same time, I recognize analytically that I can’t assume responsibility for EVERYONE in the entire world. Definitely not at this point in my life right now.

And when the fear of failure DOES get to be too much, I try to dial it back a bit, and remember what I grew up believing: even if not EVERYTHING goes the way I want it to, there’s always another chance to start over.

That’s all I’ve got for you today, Rebel. Check out yesterday’s VEDA video right up there, or check out my Patreon to get access to my secret videos.

Thank you so much for watching, and I will see you tomorrow. Byyye!

Garrett Robinson

Over 100,000 readers have read and loved Garrett's books, like the fantasy hits Nightblade and Midrealm. He's also a film festival favorite with movies like Unsaid, and a tech guru who posts lots of helpful how-tos for writers and filmmakers over at

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