Kudophobia means Fear of Praise – or even Fear of Glory! I’m not sure it’s an official word, but it’s certainly an Official Fear.
I have a bit of it, at times, being more familiar with my decades-long learning and artistic struggle and less with any sort of praise-worthy attainment.
I sense that most creatives experience something similar, especially when, after the searching, they start to bring forth the work they have imagined from the beginning.
It might go like: I think I am totally NAILING my ideas and STICKING their landing as well, but I am so used to NO-ONE noticing, I am unsure what approval means.
So, it’s awkward.
Or – even awkwarder – when you: Buy a piece. Ask for an interview. Offer a show. Request a commission (But read my thoughts on that. as I am getting wiser.)
Kudophobia, in short, brings out my most flagrant unchecked uncertainty and self-consciousness and in the face of it, I anxiously self-check and awkwardly hide my light under a bushel.
I’m better at NOT doing that than I ever have been, but it is still part of my world. The Devil You Know is a friend of mine.
I am also studying the feeder beliefs to this and I have discovered that at the root of Kudophobia is its Evil Twin: Atelophobia, (which is most definitely a real word.)
Elizabeth Gilbert has at least assuaged this one with her first TED Talk, one I have nearly memorized and have mentioned here before. The cure for Atelophobia – and consequently its Evil Twin Kudophobia – is in knowing that we are NOT geniuses, but rather we HAVE them, at our service.
But only when WE show up and do our parts as well. Check your Ego at the Door! Ole!!!
Whenever I feel the old anxieties I try to remember: my joyful job is to do the work only I can do. What happens afterwards is not in my control or of my doing. Effusive Acclaim or the Suckitude of Being Discounted and Overlooked, even Criticized = Same Irrelevancy Factor. And Same Phobia Fighter.
–Liz Crain, who now wishes to discover the Phobia Fighter for Plutophobia, the fear of wealth.