As creative people, we all feel the insatiable urge to make. We all know those moments when the muse strikes and we plunge into that exquisite, manic place of frenzied production.
Less pleasant is the place of fear we also all know. The place where the time has come in which we *must* create, perhaps the place in which we decide to take our creativity forward into the world and ask for money in return, and fear grips us: the fear of failure. The fear of exposure as some kind of fraud. The fear that paralyses. The fear of being seen. When fear grips you, how do you move forward?
Despite appearances, I’m no stranger to that feeling. I’m feeling it right now. I’ve placed myself in a passionate group of entrepreneurs who are changing the world, and I am begin challenged to move forward into places I’ve never been. Places where I might have to let go of whom I have been in order to beome someone I imagine I could be. And it scares the hell out of me.
How am I moving forward?
Firstly, acknowledging it. Everyone feels this. Everyone knows the grip of fear. It’s in us all. It makes us human.
Secondly, I’m not doing it wrong if I’m scared; fear is, in fact, a good sign that the edge of my comfort zone is right in front of me, that place of danger and excitement where I am guaranteed to grow, whatever the outcome, because I tried. Fear is the signpost that tells us that a leap forward is coming.
Thirdly, fear is the precursor to courage. Have you ever thought of that? If you’re not scared, you don’t need to be courageous. Courage is not the absence of fear; it’s going to that place, to the edge of your limitations, feeling fear, and knowing that soon you will step forward anyway. Until you feel fear, it’s hard to know courage.
Fourthly, taking the focus off myself. My next act in my work is to make the commitment to be visible more often, to commit to producing some kind of creative content weekly, and I have to shift the focus from fear of how I might screw up to the benefit this can have to the people who read, listen or watch me. If my focus is on who might be uplifted, the fear of being judged shifts to the willingness to help – because who wouldn’t help someone in need if they had the opportunity?
Lastly, being an example. Whoever you are, there are people who are influenced by you. There are people – maybe young people in your life, maybe people who look up to you – who are waiting for your permission to act. Even if it’s hard. Even if it’s scary. Their progress will be made possible because of your own. That’s an awe-inspiring responsibility, and one that lifts me out of fear. I am so much more than my own insecurities when I remember how intricately connected I am to the world around me.
And before I know it, with acknowledgement, acceptance, excitement, and connection to my world, I can act out of love. And suddenly I can’t wait to move forward and write that blog post anyway.
What’s scaring you right now? What are you doing to make progress anyway?