- I'm afraid I'll never get my book finished.
- I'm afraid of being rejected, criticized, misunderstood.
- I'm afraid of over-thinking, over-explaining.
- I'm afraid of upsetting my family, and what they might think of me.
- I'm afraid no one will read my writing, or like it. Alternately, I'm afraid they will read it and like it.
- I'm afraid to make money from my creativity.
- I'm afraid I make my husband look bad.
- I'm afraid someone else has already written what I'm writing and they're doing it better than I am.
- I'm afraid of no one taking me seriously.
- I'm afraid of being too sensitive, too introverted.
Most of my current fears are wrapped up in what I believe about myself based on other's input - perceived or real. Fear is my inner naysayer and she looks just like me, except she's a well-dressed, perfectly poised, unassuming bitch. She induces shame and guilt-ridden butterflies of anxiety in my gut. She makes me forget to be honest with myself, trust my intuition, and rest in my identity.
I've changed my mind about fear.
I used to think fear was something to overcome; being fearless an admirable goal or mantra. Now, I understand I'll never be fearless.
Fear is a spectacular motivator, religion taught me that. Like doubt, fear is necessary for my growth. Fear reminds me I like to be safe and secure, fear encourages me to stay inside. Fear is sensible, responsible, logical, methodical. Fear relies on scheduling and is always on time. Fear is my head, not my heart. Fear is perfection.
Fear is required because she keeps me alive - and she's gotten me this far.
So, fear will always be with me, but she no longer holds me back. And as I lose followers on social media, I'm learning this series is a great way to practice thanking my fear for what she offers and then to keep writing and hitting publish.
"Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that you take your job seriously. Apparently your job is to induce complete panic whenever I’m about to do anything interesting—and, may I say, you are superb at your job. So by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still - your suggestions will never be followed. You're allowed to have a seat, and you're allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You're not allowed to touch the road maps; you're not allowed to suggest detours; you're not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you're not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive."
Elizabeth Gilbert, BIG MAGIC