A-Z Blog Challenge: “K” is for Kakorrhaphiophobia

Letter “K” has been difficult for me.  I started writing three different times with other “K” words, but couldn’t finish them.  I figured if the subject was unbearably boring to me, it would be even worse for my readers.
I’ve pondered topics for the better part of two days, Googling ideas for other “K” words.  Then, as I was about to settle for a less than stellar word choice (Kleenex), I came across this amazing site with unique words.  Check it out.  As I perused the list, one word really jumped out at me: Kakorrhaphiophobia.  This is the product of the well-known voice whispering into the ears of beginning and experienced writers, entrepreneurs, and anyone daring to walk their own path.  It’s the voice that convinces them to stop pursing their dreams and listen to naysayers.  Although this definition could be considered a bit on the extreme side of the spectrum, it still affects most people at one time or another in life. 
Kakorrhaphiophobia: The fear of failure.  On one site it was also the definition for the fear of rejection.
As a writer I understand this fear all too well.  Pouring my heart and soul into a piece and then sending it out into the world, only to have it rejected.  It hurts, and it’s no fun. 
I know I’m not alone.  Others share this fear, whether they speak of it in hushed voices with close friends or ponder its implications in the wee hours of the night while watching the digital numbers on the alarm change so slow morning seems an eternity away.  It’s the fear of wondering if you made the right decision to pursue the passion inside you, instead of traveling the safe path ‘normal’ people choose.
But, as we amazing creative people know, we aren’t ‘normal’ and can’t follow a regular path.  Somewhere within us burns a desire to be more than just part of the status quo. We wear our hearts on our sleeves and do what we were created to do – to touch the hearts of others through our words, our creativity, and our gifts.
I’m not proud to admit it, but I’ll confess I’ve let my fear of failure rule my life way too many times; when my fear was bigger than my dream and I didn’t even make an attempt to try to move forward to get past it.  Kakorrhaphiophobia has been a roadblock, both mentally and physically and I didn’t even have the strength to fight through it.

But other times, I’ve knocked over that roadblock like it didn’t even exist and found myself on the other side.  Sometimes it took courage, other times I relied on the strength of those around me.  But I do know being on the side of success gave me the strength to keep trying, and it also gave me the strength to offer encouragement to others who temporarily stopped trying because their own journey appeared too difficult.

I remember coming across this question years ago, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”  It still makes me stop and think, what if there was no way to fail or could be no rejection?  What would I attempt to do?  How far could I go? 
I’m sure I could fill a page full of activities and dreams, listing all of the things where Kakorrhaphiophobia has been my nemesis.
It’s time to stop fearing and start doing.  What about you?  What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?  Share some of your dreams in the comments, and if you aren’t comfortable sharing make sure you write them down somewhere. 

Don’t let Kakorrhaphiophobia stop you.  Be strong and pursue your dreams.

2 thoughts on “A-Z Blog Challenge: “K” is for Kakorrhaphiophobia

  1. Oi! No idea how to pronounce this one…but I'm well familiar with the concept (if not the word). In terms of writing, I have watched a handful of very talented people just…stop writing and I have always thought this was the reason. I have often wondered if some of my own difficulties in pushing through on tough projects…is this. In fact, I'm pretty sure it is. What if you couldn't fail? Wow…what a thought!

  2. Excellent post, Joan! Informative and inspirational. We've all been there, I dare say.

    What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail? I might take up singing. Our branch of the Cassells family is notorious for not being able to “carry a tune in a sh%t pot”, as my mother used to say. But, now that I'm writing a poem a day, maybe I'll just go for writing songs instead of singing them.

    Thank you. xoA

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