• Sean LaFollette


A poem by Sean LaFollette
Failure and Doubt

So, I woke up last night and had a real moment of panic. Doubt has crept up and I really started to second guess myself, my abilities and my decisions moving forward. So what happened? What brought on this panic that has me up at 3:00 AM writing this blog to you? What could be so detrimental?

The road is always paved over hills. Up and down we go, riding the emotional wave from one hill to the next. It’s like this for everyone. You’re going to have tough days, you’re going to have moments of doubt. That’s okay, have them. Just don’t panic. Acknowledge that you’re having a moment of insecurity, tell yourself that all will be okay and move forward.

So what has me in such a panic? It’s something so silly, I can’t believe it’s happened. Let’s take a look and see if we can figure out why this happened.


Opening casting last week for my new film, What About Molly?, and auditions have started to roll in. Watching a few over the last couple of days, I smiled as my vision is starting to come to life. It’s exciting to see, but then I woke up this morning in a panic. I had a real fear of not being good enough. I had thoughts of failure and major doubt in my abilities. It looks something like this.

Sean...What the fuck are you doing? Your story isn’t that good. You need to work on that script. Also, why are you filming this? It’s not going to be any good. Just stop making movies and just write more. You like to write. Writing is fun. Writing is safe. Pull the plug on your auditions before it’s too late.

Those are my literal thoughts as I woke. Honestly, it feels good to write it down. I’m acknowledging the emotions on paper and getting them out of my head. I’m starting to feel much better. So where is this fear coming from? I feel as though this is a fear of failure, but what if it’s not? Could this be a fear of success?


Yes, this is a real thing, believe it or not. People do fear success. You don’t always know you’re doing it but it happens. When it comes, it’s usually followed up by self sabotage. You do something to prevent yourself from moving forward. You make a decision to kill your progress, kill your ability to achieve success and kill your dream.

So, why does this happen? Usually, it stems from the fear of not knowing what’s on the other side. For me, I know my film world and I know it well. Again, that’s MY WORLD. If my movie does well and I gain some sort of traction or success, I don’t know what’s next. I don’t know THAT WORLD. I don’t know if I can handle it. I don’t know if I want to. I have built up this vision in my head of what’s next for my career, when the success comes, but what if it doesn’t live up to my expectation?

That’s the fear. What if the juice isn’t worth the squeeze? I’ve had this skewed view of Hollywood for so long. I’ve really romanticized what the film industry looks like in my head. I know it’s not that way, but I always hold out that hope, you know? Maybe I just don’t want that magic to go away?


So, what type of fear am I dealing with currently? Writing this post has been extremely helpful for me to dive in and analyze this further. I’ve acknowledged my thoughts and emotions, addressing them individually. I’ve hashed it out and can conclude that I think I was having a real fear of failure.

The fear that my movie won't be that good.

The fear of not completing the film at all.

The fear of letting down everyone who takes part of the project.

The fear of not being good enough.

This is where I need to take a step back and say, what’s the worst that can happen? You don’t finish? You get laughed at? People talk about you behind your back? Who gives a shit. If these are the worst things that can happen, then I think all will be okay. It’s not like someone is going to die.

I make movies because I love the art. I love to be creative and collaborate with other artists to bring a story to life. I do it for ME. I have to remember, my mission isn’t to create films for YOU. My mission is education and inspiration through my determination. As long as I keep moving forward, creating and sharing my knowledge/journey, my mission is being fulfilled. At that point, the movie doesn’t matter. At that point, there is no more fear.

If you’re having fear, doubt or thinking of quitting, be brave enough to leave a comment. Put it in writing, acknowledge the thoughts and get it into the universe. You’re not alone and there’s no need to suffer in silence. Get it out of your head, remember why you’re doing what you do and move on.

- The Failed Filmmaker






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