Sometimes, as we travel through life, it may seem that we are the only ones with problems. The only ones who feel fear. We may read the stories of these big successes, people we admire, and think, There’s no way they feel like I do. We tend to look at the outward positive things and tell ourselves a story, when we can’t see the fears that are inside of someone else.
I feel fear. As I start to dream big, after the creative retreat I attended a couple of weeks ago, my fears are growing to match. I recognize now that my fears have accompanied me on every step of this creative journey. Fear of sharing my work. Fear of putting my honest self out here on the blog. Fear of trying something new. The only way I’ve grown is to face the fear and move past it.
The bigger the steps we take on our creative journey, the bigger our fears become. Last winter, as I was getting ready to start my first run of the Find Your Eye class, I was assailed with an attack of, “Who do you think you are?” Who did I think I was, to create a class and put it out there to the general public. To think I had something to contribute to the conversation, since I don’t have a photography degree or years of professional experience under my belt. Luckily, it was too late – the class was being advertised, people were registered – I was committed and couldn’t quit. It didn’t mean I felt those fears any less, however.
We all feel fear. Fear of rejection, ridicule, failure, hurt. Maybe even fear of success. Fear is there to protect us, to keep us from getting hurt. Everyone has doubts and insecurities. The face we put out to the world may be a brave one, but I guarantee there is some fear going on inside. We are not alone in this. While it may be a comfort to know others feel fear too, it doesn’t make it easier to deal with our own fears.
The only way I personally know how to deal with fear is to acknowledge it. If I can define the fear, understand where it is coming from, I can make a plan to deal with it and move ahead anyway. If I can name it, I’m less likely to let it stop me. The fear doesn’t actually go away, I just carry it along for the ride. I think of it as having a conversation with my fear, “Hello there Mr. Fear. I see you lurking there. I see what you are trying to do. Thanks for trying to protect me, but this time I’m not going to listen to you. We are moving ahead anyway. You can come along with me and see how this turns out.” Somehow, that helps. But believe me, it’s not comfortable, to carry this fear along. It would be easier to run away in the other direction.
Now, as I get ready to hit the submit button on this post, the little voice of fear is talking in my head. Should I admit my fears publicly? Won’t this just look weak? Maybe it will to some of you, but to others, it might bring a sigh of relief. You aren’t alone.
What do you do when faced with fear? How do you recognize and address it? Move past it? Please leave a comment, and today let’s help each other deal with fear.