“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” – Joseph Chilton Pearce
This month’s topic, inspired by the season of Halloween no doubt, is fear: what makes us most afraid. There are many ways I could have chosen to answer this; but, being the philosophical person that I am, I of course and to go deep to answer this question.
I see fear as the great motivator, when it is appreciated for what it is. It is our internal warning system that something is amiss. Small fears tell us that we are off track in some way, not walking the path we are supposed to be walking, or not willing to walk that path. Big fears – these tell us much more. They tell us we are mortally in danger in some way.
For me, fear is always about the confrontation within – the juxtaposition of your deepest dreams and your biggest fears. Those fears can involve a fear of failure and a fear of success; it can relate to a fear of disappointment and loss, a fear of the unknown, a fear of risk. Whatever it is, in involved YOU. Fear is a personal thing at its core, an existential confrontation of your very being!
I know, I know…a little deeper than the topic was generally meant, I am sure.
Okay, let me relate this back to me. I had this dream about fear once, something so profound, so terrifying, actually, that I still get chills whenever I recall the scene. I was climbing a steep cliff in the rain. Compelled to love forward, I also knew that the climb would ultimately lead to my death. I climbed and climbed. My knees became weak, my muscles sore. And still I climbed. Until I finally it a plateau. In front of my was a steep cliff. Again compelled, I ran toward the cliff, knowing I had to jump. Whatever was behind me was worse than the jump I knew I had to make. So… I jumped. The fear, the terror was palpable. I just KNEW I would die when I jumped, and yet, I had to do it anyway. In my dream, there was no other decision I could make. And as my feet left the safety of the plateau, the rain pounding against me, I discovered a simple truth…
I was only inches off the ground.
I started writing with the idea of publication within a year of that experience.
For me, the dream represented my need to push through all fear. To understand it and use it as the tool it is – to allow my own fears motivate me to take action and resist stagnancy.
I have never forgotten the dream. My heart still pounds whenever I think of it, the vision of it still so vivid. Whenever I get stuck, afraid, frustrated with writing or the direction of my career, I think of the dream. I consider what action I am resisting, what act of bravery I need to take. And then I do it. I jump, eyes wide open, into the abyss, knowing I am only inches off the ground!
As I started with a quote, let me end with another:
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin.
Go, face your fears, jump off the cliff, blossom. The only limits you have are the ones you’ve set for yourself!