The Greatest Detriment to Creativity: Fear

Underlying anxiety is fear. The constant feeling of not being able to match up, please people, of making a mistake, not being able to control an outcome, not please people and not please people. What will people think? What if they don’t like it? What if my mom, dad, brother, sister, husband, partner, neighbor, dog, co-worker, and every person I know doesn’t like what I do?

What if they don’t? Don’t you still kind of need to do it?

Fear can be subtle. It is action blocking. It keeps us from trying, keeps us from developing and putting in the time to succeed. Why am I doing this? It will never work. I have so much to do, my marriage is crap, I have mounting bills. Am I really going to build a blog? People will think I am crazy.

Fear kills every idea I have. The what if questions start and I quickly talk myself out of why I can’t do anything. I begin to focus on the negative aspects of my life and convince myself that writing is for other people. It can’t be for me. I don’t have the talent and time. My ideas won’t work. Creative death.

Fear makes unfounded comparisons. No one I know is doing this. I don’t know anyone else who is trying to build a website, make a widget, write a book, paint a masterpiece, make something out of clay or create something unique. Since they aren’t doing it I shouldn’t. Have you actually asked anyone? I mean really. You would be surprised at how many have a desire to create something and share it with the world and you don’t really know unless you ASK!

Fear lies. Fear tells me things that aren’t true and I listen to them. Fear’s lies are luring. I almost like them. They get me out of the hard work of trying. They help me explain why it didn’t work for me and people buy it because they are fearful too. Truth is hard. It requires something. It says this will work and if you are willing to commit you will be a great success.

I had an idea. I had no one to share it with (like that matters?). I began to question it? Here we go. I like it. I played around with it, but didn’t find immediate success. Like you would? So I began to make excuses, or listen to fear. This won’t work, you don’t have time, this doesn’t fit in your life, no one else is doing it. I quit.

What do we do? Recognize our fear and admit it. Like an alcoholic in an AA meeting. I have a problem. I listen to fear and like it. It gets me out of the hard work of trying. It gives me and excuse to not be committed to my dream. It kills my creativity and keeps me from being who I was made to be.

Admit it to yourself. Now pick up a pen. Write down your idea. Sit down and get to work. Quit making excuses and just do it! This is your life. Live it. Don’t fear it.

Marcy Pedersen

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