I heard the same excuse many times from numerous talented people. I'm not going to lie—I do the same pretty often. The question they respond to is,
"Why don't you do the most important work?"
The answer I hear pretty often is,
"I don't like to do a bad job; I'm used to doing everything perfectly."
People tend to explain their procrastination with their level of quality requirements. And since they're never "ready enough," they continue not doing what they need to be doing. They do have skills, tell you it's easy, but don't do it because "it's not the right moment."
How convenient, though: if you never do a necessary job, you never get a grade for it—you can't say it's excellent or mediocre. Instead, you can work on unimportant busy work and get your A+ grade, so you can continue being an expert... in doing minor work.
If you look at it from a different perspective, you get a zero grade for inaction, i.e., nothing. It's the opposite of doing everything great.
I have no clue how to overcome a fear of failure. Understanding that a challenge is a sign of growth helps. Getting D, D+, C-, B, A+ is more preferable, than 0, 0, 0, 0, 0. Trial and error is the only way to achieve mastery.
- It's not enough to be talented and have skills. You should also have the courage to push important work forward to achieve outstanding results.
- Perfectionism may prevent you from acquiring the skills necessary to produce great work.