What Do You Have to Be Afraid of?

An MFRW Author Post – And check out the other blogs on the hop!

I have a lot of fears. Some I would call irrational. Most, I would call the product of my anxiety and overactive imagination. I can rationalize my way out of many of these fears, the fear of contacting Scarlet Fever or having a heart attack at 26 (anxiety is a trip, y’all) but there are other, more concrete fears that I have to learn to live with, that I try to harness and use as not a preventative barrier between me and my success, but a force that helps me to achieve it.

I’m terrified of never being good enough. girl-843076_960_720

Okay, who among us isn’t? Especially in creative fields, where vulnerability and subjectivity rule the day, we will undoubtedly place judgment upon ourselves in the extreme and nearly always find fault. The idea that we’ll never get the opportunity to produce our best work, that we’re wasting time, that we’re going to wake up one day and realize twenty years have passed and we’re still peddling in the same spot–that’s not exclusive to me.

We all have different ways of dealing with it, though. I’m a Type A creative with anxiety and the way I manage my fears is a world apart from how my Type B, analytical boyfriend does. That’s part and parcel of the game–finding the right system for harnessing that energy and using it for good.

lion-1145307_960_720And that’s sort of the whole plan. Whenever I worry that I won’t be good enough, that time is running out, that my treadmill is getting faster and I’m not going anywhere, I let it drive me. I let it push me to work harder, write longer and keep my chin held high against the rejections, the shutdowns, and the setbacks. A little bit of fear and righteous anger are useful, dependable tools in the arsenal of a creative person, and I do my best to master them, to keep them contained and controlled so that they don’t hold me back.

Because if I’m not careful, that very fear of never being good enough will cause me to never be good enough. It will paralyze me, stop me from working, distract me from the bigger picture. It will keep me from ever telling those stories I so desperately want to tell. 

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So, I’ll work a little harder than the fear every day. I’ll harness the fear, I’ll make the fear that I can’t do what I’ve been put on this earth to do something I can control and use and benefit from. And on the days when it just doesn’t work like that, I’ll shut out the noise, close the curtains on my doubts and anxieties and what-ifs and I’ll focus all the energy and all the power I have on doing it anyway.

So many things in life are scary–for the right reasons and the wrong ones. The trick isn’t to never get knock down, to never be afraid, to never doubt. The trick is that when you get knocked down, when you feel fear, when you doubt–you go right ahead and you do. it. anyway.

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