Recently, I had a moment of clarity brought on by fear. It raised the question, “What am I going to do about it?”
What did I realize? And what needs something done? (For those that didn’t read the blog post:) To summarize, I’m unhappy with myself. Mostly that is due to the fact I am coward… Oh, don’t get me wrong. I think I have a right to be afraid of the dark, snakes, heights, spiders, insects, bugs, mice, rats, lizards, ghosts, blood, being set adrift in outer space, being stuck in really small spaces, large crowds of people staring at me, and so on. Those fears are fine, because, like an idiot, I force myself to face those fears often enough (well, maybe not the outer space thing…).
I’m talking about those fears that are stopping me from doing things. These fears are worse than petrification spells! However, they attack under the guise of reason. “I can’t do that, because ____.” Oh, evil ____. How rational you sound. I’ve become your flaming codependent.
I’ve talked myself out of things that would have done me no harm to try. How many times did I tell myself, “it is a silly idea”? Or, “it won’t work”? Hey me, remember “I failed trying something like that before”? Oh, what about “but it involves so much, I obviously can’t handle that”? My most popular? Wouldn’t that be “But no one would be interested in that”? As I type them, I want to slap myself.
Want an example? I thought about a limited run of podcasts. On the podcast would be a group of writers of various stages/types. Each week the group would discuss a topic with each author posing a question to the group. I also thought of putting up a YouTube version (just replace video with images that reference the words or pictures of the writers). I really did think about this a lot, and over weeks.
Why didn’t I? I’m pretty sure the largest reason was, I’d have to ask people I knew and didn’t know to make up the panel. And I was afraid that someone would say, “No.” I was also afraid I’d get yeses and then no one would show up to the podcast recordings. I was afraid no one would listen to it. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to learn how to record a podcast (I don’t know how, so I’d have to learn).
I told myself the “rational” things. This is a lot of work and time you’ll be pulling away from writing. Other writers won’t be interested in taking part or listening to it. It won’t work. I cringe as I type that. I ask my self, “Why didn’t I try?”
And this brings us back to, “What am I going to do about it?” Saying I’m going to “stop it” seems a little… too easy to shrug off. Like I said before, “Those fears are fine, because, like an idiot, I force myself to face those fears often enough (well, maybe not the outer space thing…).” Those fears being the ones I call my “primal” fears. I hate heights. Still, I ride roller coasters (extra fear = extra fun; seriously it does). I also force myself to look at the ground from windows, balconies, or roof tops. I hate snakes, but if there is a chance to pet one I’ll take it. But if it is in the wild… I leave my husky’s poop on it.
So, how do I stop these self defeating thoughts brought on by fear? I face them. Obvious, ain’t it?
To be more exact: Once a month, from August to October, I have to do something I _____ed myself out of doing.
That’s right. Starting this month. Actually, on August 31. On this blog. Three things I feared. Look for blog posts prefaced Fearless. Ready or not, it is on! (Dude, I’m sooooo not ready. EEK!)