I struggle a lot with fear.
I would like to lie and seem all perfect and tell you I just sail around, doing my work with cheerful optimism because I’ve learned how to be in alignment and find joy first.
I travel with Fear, as if it’s an ugly stepsister that’s in my family forever.
Three people have helped me with this. One is Jess with her Flow class. The other two are writers.
Liz Gilbert (of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love fame) personifies her fear, like I do. She says that Fear goes along with her on every creative journey, but here's the secret: Liz drives.
“[Fear], you’re allowed to have a seat, and you're allowed to have a voice. But you are not allowed to have a vote. You're not allowed to touch the road maps, or suggest detours. You're not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you're not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”
So that brings me to my second author, Susan Jeffers, who published Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway way back in 1987. (For all you writers out there, here's an interesting story: Jeffers said that so many publishers rejected the manuscript she almost gave up. One publisher even told her, “Lady Di could be cycling down the street naked giving this book away, and no one would read it.” Her book has been in print for over 20 years, sold in 100 countries and translated into 30 languages...)
Jeffers’ major lesson is this: whatever you're afraid of, you can handle it.
Pain, loss, death of people you love, public humiliation, failure, bankruptcy, embarrassment…ultimately, you can handle it.
I try to remember these two pieces of advice.
- Fear will be along for the ride (just don’t let it drive), AND
- Whatever we’re afraid will happen, we can handle it.
Oh -- and the lizard above? It's a Blue Tongue. Big and scary, but totally harmless.