Fear. If you’re not safe, you can’t create.

Let's allay some of the fears.

If you’re not safe, you can’t create.

If you’re in a state of fear, your only thoughts are usually how to get out of that state. You often don’t think much beyond it, either. It’s not, oh, when I’m not longer scared, then I’ll do this and that and continue on to accomplish that and the other. It’s more along the lines of, “If only I can get past this fear. If only I can survive.”

You’re not concerned with luxuries such as thriving or success or long-term goals. It’s akin to when you’re sick and all you can think about is what it will be like when you’re better. Especially if you’ve been sick for some time and you can’t even remember what it was like to not be sick. If it goes on long enough, you might only think that your state of sickness–or fear–is your natural state of being. Then it’s even tougher to dig your way out.

The psychologists (and neurologists) talk about “the lion in the shadows of the tall grass” when there was a true and immediate danger thousands of years ago. Now, there aren’t so many lions, but we have other fears that haunt us and don’t go away as clearly as the lion. They can be small, almost invisible, but just enough to hold you back.

If there are 10 elements of fear, can you knock out a few?

What’s holding you back from being the creator you know you are? Is it fear of failure? Fear of being who you are and not being accepted by those who didn’t know you as such? Fear of success? It’s not as uncommon as one might think. The fears are our own and sometimes others can’t even understand them, but they are there. They are no lions, but in a way, they are more dangerous. They lurk in shadows and sometimes don’t go away–at least not in our minds.

Let’s take a real-world example. I recently moved out of San Francisco and to a small town in The Netherlands. One night, early on, I forgot to lock our car door out front and was sure it would be ransacked by morning. I was also very careful to not walk around at night looking at my phone–an easy mugging target. This is one may seem silly, but there aren’t coyotes in the woods near our house, so I can let my dog off the leash freely and there are no natural predators for him.

There are 3 fears I no longer have. Boom, just like that.

They don’t have to be related to my creativity necessarily, but they still free up space in my mind that was taken up by fear that is now available for creative outlets. I notice it already. It’s a relief and uplifting.

All of this gives me energy because I don’t have to use any to build up the protective mechanisms to subdue the fear. These are very concrete examples, but what about more subtle examples? What about the fear of someone finding out what your real dreams are? What if your corporate buddies figure out that you really just want to be a writer and could care less about anything (and everything) corporate? What if your only real drive to make a million dollars was because that was the pressure of living in a city where that was the norm?

What fears do you have? Are they big, small or somewhere in between? Are there some that you could cast away? What would that take? Would they be worth the effort? The possible sacrifice? What are the tradeoffs?

What is fear doing to you and what would you do without it?

Thursday Thunder 03

by Bradley Charbonneau | Thursday Thunder

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.

Bruce Lee

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