“Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.”
Eddie Rickenbacker, President of Eastern Airlines and American fighter pilot in World War One.
Last week, we discovered that the first key quality to creative success is clarity.
I'm at a stage in my life where I've found clarity on understanding fear.
It’s clear to me now why we experience it and of course I don't know it all but I certainly appreciate more why it's there.
Finding clarity gave me that certainty. One of our basic human needs.
Fear keeps us alive.
Literally and metaphorically speaking.
When we're metaphorically alive, we’re in the now, the present moment and as most of our daily thoughts (50 per minute) are the same thoughts repeated, this can only be a good thing.
When are you afraid?
I find myself fearful when I think of losing loved ones.
My mind creates a number one bestseller and as I'm watching the bestseller mentally convert into an award-winning film, I catch my hypnotised mind before I dive deeper down the emotional rabbit hole.
I’m always in awe of the fact that my mind can't tell the difference between the story I'm telling and the reality.
For all its intelligence, it’s really quite stupid.
Try telling me that though when my hearts beating harder and faster, my body temperature is rising, my breath quickening, my body tensing and I’m feeling momentarily sad.
And then I remember that all my loved ones are safe and I'm in absolutely no real danger at all.
How ridiculous that it can't discern fact from fiction.
But over the years we’ve evolved and luckily there’s a part of the brain that allows me to rescue myself and resume mental order.
So when do you feel scared?
January's blogs have been about creating clarity to realise your full creative potential.
Why don’t we use that first key quality for creative success to make something very clear here.
Unless you’re life is in danger, I mean literally in danger then the fear you feel is very subjective and often a complete waste of time and energy.
You'd be better off focussing on what triggered the emotional fear response in the first place and taking action on it by challenging the story you're telling yourself.
What is that story?
Give yourself the opportunity to create a new story that serves you. You’re powerful enough.
When I can feel fear bubbling, I now see a vision of an infant chimpanzee riding a tricycle recklessly with no concern for anybody but itself.
Because fear is controlled by the juvenile, survival-motivated and low-level part of the brain that’s our default and unless I take a hold of the tricycle steering bars, it will simply veer me into all sorts of emotional trouble.
It knows no different.
Oh, but wait a minute!
Fear has the same vibration as excitement.
Maybe I'm excited.....
Definitely a moment for finding clarity.
So, when I've worked out that I'm afraid, I have a structure of thoughts that I bring to the forefront of my mind to start steering the recklessly steered tricycle back into the now.
It might take just one of them to put me back on track or a succession.
I'd love to share three of these thoughts with you right now in the hope that they assist you in saving yourself from moments of horror storytelling.
HOW TO SAVE YOURSELF
Fear is Your Friend
Fear wants to tell you something and keep you safe from perceived danger.
It usually wants to remind you that something needs to be addressed.
Let’s say you want to pursue your creative dream of jewellery-making.
The immediate thought of giving up your job when you have a mortgage and a family to support literally paralyzes you.
And to be honest, it should.
You'd be reckless to jeopardise your family's welfare and your sanity.
Listen to your fear. It’s highlighting that.
Most people though abandon ship and trudge along in a life they feel compelled to live.
But there is a way….
What would happen if you acknowledged your fear and heard what it was saying?
Perhaps you could keep your day job and use the weekends/days off to research your vision.
Or maybe you could reach out to an established jewellery maker and see if they’d take you on as an apprentice on the evenings or weekends.
What could you do to quieten your fears at source?
Quieten The Fear!
As you hear the fear’s story, what can you do to alleviate its concerns?
If you’re wanting to quit your job, chances are it’s hissy fitting about money and your lack of ability.
Why not start a savings fund in a completely different bank account that allows you to throw either loose change, refunds, a small monthly payment into it whenever you can.
I have to say that the new online banks are amazing for this.
Work out how much you'd need to live on for two years if you cut right back and use this as your financial savings gauge.
And what about your community?
Who's on your side?
Is there anybody there living their dream?
Get them on board.
Get To Know!
Much of our fear is conjured up from the unknown and we can find ourselves making snap decisions based on limited knowledge.
We doubt ourselves not because we can’t but often because we don’t know how.
So what do you need to learn?
Take a jewellery course? A ’Being Self-Employed’ workshop? A ‘Manage Your Finances’ event?
Get the facts rather than hearsay to avoid your brain filling in the gaps with negative imagery.
When you’re armed with knowledge, you can then create a plan of action and build confidence in your ability to realise your creative dreams.
I’d love to hear how you get on...