Friday, July 30, 2010

Battling the fear demon

I live a fearful life. I mean, I'm not being gunned down in the streets or anything (thank goodness, too, because I SUCK at lasertag), but I make fear-based decisions. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, fear of insecurity, they all keep me on a specific path that I've struggled my entire life to break away from. I've gotten better at letting go, at taking risks, but that fear still follows me everywhere I go.

  • Putting a clothing item back on the rack because I don't think I can pull it off
  • Staying quiet at parties because I think I'll say something stupid (which, in all fairness, is usually true)
  • Not entering contests because I know I won't win
  • Not promoting myself as a writer/singer/lover of the arts because I think people won't want to read/listen/appreciate
At some point we have to let go of one trapeze to get to the other, and there's always that horrible airborne moment where you're not sure if you'll make it to the other one (the trapeze metaphor has always horrified me because I'm scared of heights). But we can't move forward in life unless we do let go and take a risk. Most successful people, whatever their calling, failed more times than they succeeded. After all, it only takes the one "yes."

So how do you battle the fear demon?


Tahereh said...


also i love you.

Jaydee Morgan said...

Fear's a tough one to get over it. For me, I tell myself to just go for it, no matter the end result. I mean, seriously, how bad could it really be to fail and have to try again? That's life.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I'd like to say I have a fool-proof way to battle the fear demon, but he scares me too.

What I'm trying to work on is this: (and I'll borrow your trapeze metaphor) I need to remember that if I miss the next trapeze, there is a net underneath me. I won't plunge to my doom. And if I can get back on that trapeze again *and make it*, people will remember the success more than the fall.

I just noticed the little tag on your blog that says "A blog rife with word nerdery." I love that! I'm a word nerd too, and I love the word "rife." And "behoove" and a whole bunch of other nerdy words. Yay!

Melissa Gill said...

Love the trapeze metaphore. And you are singing my song. This is exactly how I am.

What's really helped me is writing and joining the writing community. I've found so many kindred souls out there that share the same feelings of fear I have.

It helps me to know I'm not alone.

JEM said...

You ladies make a girl feel better about life :).


Two thoughts: If you don't take a risk, will you regret it on your death bed? For me, failing at something doesn't hurt as much as the regret that I was too afraid to even try. Second thought is the story of Jesus (Buddha, Mohammed) pushing a wheelbarrow on a tightrope across the Grand Canyon. HOPE is that Jesus will make it across. FAITH is YOU getting into the wheelbarrow.