Has fear stopped you when it matters most with your work?
Have you been right there, and the next step you need to take in order to go Full Time scares you out of your mind?
It may be,
Starting your Youtube channel
Submitting your manuscript to a big publisher
Hiring your first producer
Promoting your workshop
Raising your prices on your art
Launching a newsletter or blog
It’s that next level of exposure and action you KNOW you need to take, and yet you find yourself paralyzed. You may feel like your feet are stuck to the ground.
Have you ever felt this?
And the fear can be intense…
It can feel so overwhelming, and you may be thinking,
If I’m THIS scared, I’m not supposed to do it!
Maybe I’ll just wait…
I’ll wait until I’m no longer scared.
If I’m scared, it must not be right.
So, you wait, and wait, and the fear never goes away…and your dreams of going Full Time are no closer.
How does that feel?
I imagine it can be devastating and really discouraging.
You are an incredible Artist.
You have so much to give and your audience is waiting for you…..
So, what’s the DEAL??
Why won’t the fear GO AWAY?
I mean, things would be so much easier if it did, right?
Wednesday night was a big night for me. Almost four months after a serious calf injury, I decided to try leaping across the floor for the first time.
I had been back to dance class now two times prior since the injury and each time had felt even more solid, and I was actually really excited.
Tonight is the night! I get to leap!
And yet, right before I was about to go, I felt it…Fear.
This was exactly how I got injured in January. It was the leaps across the floor.
For a moment, I could feel that voice coming up saying,
What if you’re not ready?
What if you hurt yourself again?
Have you ever felt this?
I was scared. The last four months have been really challenging and I have MISSED dance so much! The last thing I wanted was to have another injury and be out again.
But, something deeper was with me.
So, I leapt WITH the fear.
And I made it across to the other side of the room. A smile broke across my face, a wash of relief came over me. My calf was tight, but I was ok.
I was ok.
I remember in the very midst of my divorce, sitting in front of a Zen teacher with tears streaming down my face, sharing my heartache and weeping as I choked out my deepest question,
How do you let go?
He passed me a box of tissues and then asked me,
Are you ok without him?
This question stopped me cold. Literally, it was as if a huge shift occurred in my body.
Yes, I was ok.
Yes, I was breathing.
Yes, I had support of family and friends….I was still alive.
I honestly had thought because I was SO afraid of being single, of being without the man I had spent 19 years of my life with, that ultimately I would NOT be ok.
This was unknown territory, after all.
And yet, here I was breathing and alive.
The ironic thing was I was the one who actually said,
I want a divorce.
He had asked for a trial separation, but there was no way I was going to give that to him. He was in love with another woman, and had shared he didn’t want to have kids. AND in couple’s therapy, he didn’t want to look at the deeper reasons he was leaving me.
There was no future here. I knew it, and I knew what the next step had to be, and it rocked me to my core.
So, even though I was terrified of never finding my partner, of never having children…I leapt. It was scary as hell.
And I was ok.
I am ok. And that ability to leap WITH my fear allowed me to not only find my life partner and begin family planning, but also create my own Art business and find true meaning in my life.
Last week I saw a quote from one of my favorite women in the world, Marie Forleo
Fear isn’t the problem. Waiting to stop feeling afraid is.
And this IS the heart of it.
Whoever told you not to step forward because you are scared, lied to you.
It actually may be the least helpful advice given, ever.
We don’t grow when are comfortable, we grow when we are challenged, face it, and step INTO it.
The reason why?
Because when you are able to take steps WITH fear, you are building your greatest ally,
It took me losing everything to wake up to how strong I actually was.
And trust me, it wasn’t easy, and I didn’t do it alone.
Fear is actually just an indicator that it’s important to you!
Much like family to me, partnership, and dancing!
Dancing is VITAL for me, so OF COURSE I was scared to leap.
And I did WITH my fear.
Perhaps, this isn’t about letting GO of fear.
What if fear can come ALONG on the journey?
What if fear is just here to point to what’s important to you?
Take the leap.
The only way is through.
Fear is not your enemy…it may actually just be waiting for you to make friends with it. Maybe your fear WANTS to leap across the floor and feel freedom too.
Because when you land there….you will realize, it’s gone.
Just like that. It’s disappeared, and there you are….landed from the air, alive.
You are alive.
The wait is over.
Photography: Caitlin Cannon Photography