F is for Fear of Failure

a-to-z-letters-f

Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.
Will Smith as Cypher Raige in After Earth

One of the things that hold us back from realizing our full potential in this life is FEAR. Fear can paralyse us, immobilize us, it can be irrational and it can be overwhelming. We need to recognize it in our lives and ask ourselves “What are we really afraid of?” A lot of the time we are afraid of failing. We don’t want to risk what we have in life, we rather play it safe and go with what we know.

A televangelist Robert H. Schuller once asked “What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” In other words think about what you really want out of this life and go for it. Don’t be held back by your fears of failure. I’ve always known I want to write for a living, but as a young adult and even as a kid I was too afraid to put my words on paper for fear that they would not be perfect. How silly is that?

Failure is not the end of the world. We learn a lot from our failures. I failed out of my first year of university from a program I wasn’t well suited to. While I wouldn’t want to repeat the process, the failure did teach me a lot about myself and what I was better suited to.

With the wisdom of a middle aged adult I now encourage any young people trying to discover what they want to do with their life to really think about what it is they love and to try to do that. I only recently discovered Alan Watts (1915-1973) a British philosopher who had the same philosophy about life. See this video below that was made to a famous speech of his.

It is also nicely summed up in this beautiful poster by ZenPencils.com

Its advice that I am still trying to apply in my life and in my writing. Don’t let fear hold me back. Keep moving forward. Life is too short.

Why do we say it?

E is for Etymology

E is for Etymology

As a writer and someone who actively uses words as my building blocks, I am always fascinated by the origin of words. Today on the A to Z Blog Challenge I take a quick look at my love of Etymology – the study of words and their history and origins.

Discovering at an early age that words had origins and sometimes their own secret history was unlocking a whole new layer of language for me. It was the equivalent of being given a decoder ring or some X-Ray specs that allowed me to see things normal people didn’t notice.

Learning that words like sabotage may have derived from 15th century workers using their wooden shoes, known as sabots, to damage industrial looms introduced me to a mini-history lesson in the making.

It also opened my eyes to how culture and time periods shape words and how phrases and expressions can enter the common usage. It always amazes me the number of nautical expressions that have entered the common usage – from expressions like “the bitter end” to “three sheets to the wind” .

I love gathering books on words origins, phrases, and also even place names.

Here’s some great titles I have in my library on the subject::