Pupils dilated, sweaty palms, erratic heartbeat, and an overwhelming desire to flee. No, I’m not describing the act of falling in love (although it is very similar and equally harrowing). On the contrary, I have just described, in a nutshell, the fear that encapsulates me every time I sit at my computer and open up a new document. The dreaded blank page and blinking cursor that becomes a blaring reminder of what has yet to be said. With each passing second, the ever spindling branches of fear grow, drowning my thoughts, siphoning my courage. Am I relevant? Do I have something to say? Better yet, will anyone care about what I have to say? Before I know it, hours have passed and not a single word has been written on that blank page. And I have been convicted anew simply because I was afraid to step out on faith, to claim that potential for greatness.
Yes, fear is that damn powerful.
Fear stopped me in my tracks, kept me from expressing, creating, sharing the very fiber of my being. I gave too much power to fear and in the end, it conquered me.
I started postulating on what I was really afraid of. I can admit that there was some trepidation with pouring my soul out on that blank page, exposing my deepest secrets, desires, hopes and dreams in such an intimate manner, but if I were to be truthful with myself, that wasn’t the reason. The reason, I finally understood, was that I was afraid to look into myself, to see both the folly and the greatness of my being. I was afraid of what would be released, afraid that if I unlocked that potential, that no one would understand but all would judge. I was afraid to see me. Fear crippled me in its totality, the doubts grew and you guessed it- that page remained blank. The ability to create depends on a modicum of freedom and yet here I was, enslaving myself to the binds of fear. It had to stop because for me to function like a normal human being, for me to live, I had to create. Naturally, I had to give fear his walking papers.
And that’s exactly what I did. I faced those fears with the help of the three A’s: Anticipation, Anxiety, and Adrenaline. The moment I faced that blank page again, I experienced the anticipation of the flow of words, felt the anxiety of the power I was about to wield, and lastly, the adrenaline pulsating through my veins as I put it down.
Essentially, I gave fear a very big, very ostentatious one finger salute.
That’s not to say that fear doesn’t rear his ugly head anymore. With any new venture, he’s lurking around the corner, lying in wait, ready to strike. The key is, of course, to meet him face to face. Let him know that he’s welcome to come but it’s very likely that he won’t be staying for long.
Fear is intimidated by action. So the question is not can you do it but if you will do it.
I don’t know about you, but I’m about to do it.