I have begun reading a book by my favorite writer/speaker/teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, called “Fear”.
The first thing it addresses, right in the introduction, is how we give into fear. Even when we are surrounded by the people who give us the most joy, we still have this feeling peering over our shoulders like a curious onlooker. We cannot escape the things that give us chills. They are always with us, in the background, waiting to jump out at us when we turn a corner.
This is especially true, I think, for creatives.
We all have a bit of fear, either of success or failure, when we attempt to create something that goes out into the world. Will it be received positively? Will it get a bad review?
In his book, Hanh says the best way to ease our fear and have more joy is to acknowledge that the fear is THERE and to look at it with a new more renewed appreciation for it.
His first story about waiting for his plane in Vietnam during the war was very powerful to illustrate this. I won’t retell it, but if you get a chance, pick this book up in the bookstore and read the first couple of pages of the introduction. You will see what I mean.
You can get a copy through Amazon if you want one.
Generally though, we should acknowledge our fear, and look at it differently. Not as this specter that we will lose to, but as something to be experienced and understood. Sometimes bringing fear into the light for examination DOES take the trembling away.
I have my own short story to write about this. I really think writers especially need to know that facing their fears is the best way to overcome them. Even though they can be crippling as you sit in front of the screen, there is no reason for them to do battle with your writing attempts, and win.
Check out another post about worry and fear here: