I recently read the book “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert and she has a chapter called “Scary Scary Scary” in which, no joke, I thought she was talking directly to me because I'm afraid of EVERYTHING! She had this very long list of the fears associated with living a creative life. Fears like, “You're afraid you have no talent. You're afraid of being rejected. You're afraid that there is no market for what you do, that somebody else has already done it,” and on and on. She listed every fear I've ever had and will have.
But as the chapters rolled on, I kept waiting for her to tell me, “Ok Cat. This is exactly what you need to do in order to conquer all that fear,” but the advice I craved never came. What she did say was that fear was not only necessary, but that we should embrace it instead of trying to conquer it. Huh? Embrace fear? She writes, “Fear will always show up, especially when you are trying to be inventive or innovative. Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity, because creativity asks you to enter realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcomes.”
This small detail, that fear is triggered by creativity, really changed my point of view. I thought, "Why do I want to get rid of something that helps me to create?" I decided to follow her cue and instead of trying to get rid of my fear, I was going to make space for it. EG writes, “I allow my fear to live and breathe and stretch out its legs comfortably. It seems to me that the less I fight my fear the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes too. In fact, I cordially invite fear to come along with me everywhere I go.”
So today I say, be brave. Be brave to live the creative life of your dreams, and when fear comes aknocking, as you know full well it will,welcome it in,offer it a of cup of tea, and then put it to work by fueling your creative spirit.