“Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”
Fear is a pretty big theme in my life. It guides many of my decisions (or indecision), protects me from leaving my comfort zone, and keeps me nice, and safe, and without harm. It keeps me from dying in a bungee jumping accident, doesn’t let me drive in big cities, and helps me avoid scary streets at night. I need my fear.
But it also keeps me from taking bigger risks and really pursuing my creative ideas.
Fear convinces me that my ideas aren’t any good or that other people already ran with my idea first, and that they did it better.
Fear convinces me that I don’t have the right strengths and I have all the wrong weaknesses.
Fear convinces me that the journey to realizing my goals is too hard, too expensive, too long. As the writer Elizabeth Gilbert says in her latest book Big Magic,
“Fear is boring, because fear only ever has one thing to say to us, and that thing is: “STOP!” For over 25 years now, my fear has been shouting “STOP!” to me, every single time I sit down to write. Fear never has a more interesting insight to offer. Never. Just that one word, repeated and repeated with increasing hysteria: “STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP!!!!!”
She goes on to say loads of great stuff about fear, including a truly inspiring little welcome speech she gives to it every time it shows up.
I don’t know about you, but I do not want my life, and my dreams, to be dictated by my fear.
So that’s my new year’s resolution. In 2016, I am kicking fear into the back seat.
Want to do it with me?
In the spirit of Ms. Gilbert’s speech to fear, I’ve written my own letter to fear to guide me in 2016.
Dear Fear: My dreams and I are going on a journey together this year, and I hear you’ll be coming along. I know you just want to come so you can protect me from terrible decisions, but you’ve been getting in the way of some really cool shit that my dreams have thought up for us to do together, and I can’t have you doing that on this trip. You, my old friend, are welcome to tag along, but understand that I have to relegate you to the back seat. The only ones making any decisions on this trip are my dreams and me. You don’t suggest a new route- we’ll be programming the GPS. You don’t pick out the road music- we already made an inspiring and kick-ass play list. And absolutely under no circumstances will you be getting behind the wheel.
We good? K, let’s go.