If Freud was around it would be some kind of superior complex and I'm sure it boils down to genitals. However in today's society it's probably a mix of the fear of being a failure but more anxiety of starting something new cause what if it's horrible or what if you ruin it's monetary value.
I always get scared starting something new when a piece of paper that I work with is between $20-$100 or a single piece of canvas is over $100. However art has told me I must try and if I fuck it up, I better learn how to fix it so the mistakes become intentional. This attitude comes from using water colours where the medium is unforgiving, unpredictable and weather affected. So if you're scared of fucking up I say try water colours till you're mediocre and then you won't have a fear. The same principle applies to graffiti you only have so much time to do a piece and if you fuck up, 10 times out of 10 at a legal wall you can't go back to fix it. So you have pressure to perform.
For this new series I was scared to use 23kt gold leaf, I have never used it before and taught myself how to mediocrely use it. It works, it makes it appear like I know how. But in all honesty I don't. You pay for 24 squares of super thin temperamental sheets of gold for a fuck ton of money and everything destroys them. However shit I am at the gold leaf I have made it work and the mistakes are well thought out degradation that have a symbolic meaning to the painting. Unpredictability spurs creativity and mistakes make you more creative in how to fix them, cover them or incorporate them and once you've racked your brain at all possibilities sometimes you have to give up, but not without a valuable lesson.
Here's some Lessons I have learnt:
Taxidermy with cats around is difficult and distracting
Always use a colour keeper for water colours as cat hair gets everywhere
Don't drink and touch up your work. Unless you're a functioning alcoholic, 9 times out of 10 you will probably make something worse
If you make a mistake in oils simply wait a month in winter for it to dry and then fix your mistake.
Wood carving is both enjoyable but incredibly dangerous, never put your hand in front of what you're trying to carve otherwise you will bleed like crazy and if it's on a train possibly scare people. Not the desired effect unless it's a performance piece.
Don't buy art materials on pay day. You will return with a gazillion things you justified you needed, even though they weren't on your shopping list but you bought them anyway because they were on special. Now fast forward ten to twenty years and you're hoarding thousands of dollars worth of art supplies and you justify all of it with "I have a lifetime to use this stuff".
When you dream about art write the memories down before you forget cause sometimes they aren't brilliant ideas and sound lame when you wake up.
Never try to fit into the art scene, don't ever tell someone you like their work if you don't. I haven't done this, but I have observed this at art school. The more you pander to egos than you care about someone's work will lead to people not respecting or valuing you and your opinion. This makes you an art wanker. To fix this, have a one to one with the person and positively critique their work.