How Atelophobia is ruling our lives

Abstract Feb 27, 2020

I came across a post on Instagram the other day which showed a four year old Indian girl totally acing archery and the caption read, 'No matter how good you think you are at something, there's always going to be an Asian toddler better than you at it'. Although it seems like a rather ordinary post that you'll come across while scrolling and forget just as easily, I found myself pondering over it quite a bit.

If you were to ever visit the land of 'words that were never spoken or hobbies that were never pursued or dreams that were never chased' aka the land of regret, you'll realise that all its residents seem to have settled there due to the fear of failure or the fear of not being good enough - atelophobia. I'm sure there have been multiple instances in my life, majority of them being in my teen years where I have stopped myself from doing something simply because I feared not being great at it. I cannot possibly be the only individual who has felt this way and that is exactly why I felt so immensely about addressing it in my article today.

As kids, terms like failure, rejection or average were words that most of us weren't familiar with and thankfully so. We were just a bunch of tiny humans with a happy-go-lucky attitude. As a result, the spontaneity that we possess as toddlers will always remain unmatched.

I vividly remember the first time that I had written a poem, back in 2012. I was shocked and quite impressed by myself at the same time because it was as equal a revelation for me as it was for others - I could write!! After that there was no stopping me. I would write poems day in and day out and within no time I started my own blog too. I had found a thing that gave me joy and I latched onto it- but not for long. Although I cannot exactly pinpoint the time when things changed, eventually the time period between my successive blog posts increased and my brief era of writing poetry came to a decline. Although I continued writing articles, I stopped sharing them with the world because I felt like the internet had so much better content to offer than my blog. Back then, whenever I came across an article or a story that I liked, my first instinct was to compare my ideas, my writing style with that of the author and this happened to do the trick. I convinced myself that I could never be an extraordinary writer or a poet because there were already plenty such people in the world, doing a much better job than me.

This is exactly what we all do on a daily basis. Our habit of 'not indulging in activities for the fear of not immediately perfecting them' has potentially stopped us from having so many fun and enlightening experiences in life. But if there's anything that I've learnt (perhaps from the wisdom that has come along with being an adult for a little more than six months) is that -

If while dancing your steps don't match the beat of the song but you enjoy swinging your body to the music nevertheless, then by all means - dance like no one's watching! So what if your canvas doesn't turn out to be as beautiful as that of the professional artist that you're following online? If painting brings you peace and pleasure, then by all means - don't stop yourself from unleashing that inner artist! Don't ever feel inferior to someone who's more knowledgeable at a subject that you're fond of - dive right into the topics that intrigue you without worrying about competing with others. I can come up with a thousand other such instances if I have to but I think we all have a few of our own to think about.

In one way or the other, it all boils down to the same thing - DO what you love and don't care about the rest (I know it's an ongoing process, but we'll all eventually get there). You don't have to be a 10/10 at everything that you do. And to sum it up, I would like to quote one of my favourite characters of all time : "Life is chaos; success is completely arbitrary, and confidence is everything." - Gina Linetti.

DO YOU.

Isha Joshi

DJ LIT Editorial co-committee member

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