Atime2write - Fiona Tarr

Living A Creative Life

How to Overcome Fear

Can’t Was My First Word…..

Well, maybe not my first word but my family often said it was probably my most used word. My mum used to tell the story of when I was a small child and I would grunt for the sauce or something at the other end of the table and my mum would say ‘sauce Fiona, ask for the sauce’ and I would answer ‘can’t’.

That one word dominated my life right through my primary schooling and well into my young adult life. It frustrated my sisters when they tried to help me with my reading and it infuriated my mum when I refused to even try to spell a word.

I remember, it never bothered my dad. There was never a time when I refused to do anything with or for my dad and as I started to write this, I had to wonder why? It is simple really, my dad never forced me to do anything. He never pushed me, he never really grumbled at me, he never expected much from me. He shovelled dirt and I helped, in the pouring rain. He needed a crew for his sailing races and I joined him. He taught me to drive and I gave it a go (even though I was fearful).

My husband, like my dad encourages and motivates me; he makes me feel comfortable with trying new things. He gives me permission to fail, even when I don’t give myself permission. Can’t is only relevant when there is an expectation of what success should look like. Can’t has no use, no power if failure is immeasurable or impossible.

I couldn’t spell for nuts and reading was never my strong point, yet I have written two books and will continue to write more.

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So if you feel like saying Can’t, consider your expectations. If you are saying can’t, you may be afraid or unwilling to try and that is possibly because you expect failure….. Give yourself permission to fail, you might surprise yourself.

If you have a story about expectations or the fear of failure, I would love to hear it.


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