Many of us have spent our whole lives working hard, not to be afraid.
Who knows when we came associate control and a lack of fear with safety?
Perhaps it was when we were young, and we were scared by a bigger kid at recess. Or maybe it was a time when we were stranded waiting for a ride and something dangerous happened, or almost happened.
For those of you who have walked that road, as I have, let me just say that it’s okay to be afraid.
The upside to fear is that fear often is not related to something that is actually dangerous. It can be related instead to something new. More adventurous types have long ago learned to associate this slightly different feeling with excitement.
And as long as there is no one standing by with a switchblade or a cliff looming up ahead (a real cliff not a metaphorical cliff) then it pays to find the things that generate those feelings and run towards them.
In case you missed it, I finished my first novel recently.
It’s hard to explain just how much fear goes into such a first endeavor.
Will I be able to finish it? (Yes, multiple times)
Will anybody like it? (Some people claim to)
Will I ever figure out when to use commas correctly? (Unlikely)
Will anyone buy it? (Apparently)
Will people disapprove of my characters? (I mean, Sebastian does take an alcoholic out to a bar every couple of weeks)
Beyond the book itself, is the book industry, blogging, conferences, and more.
Each of these steps presented itself with fear along the way. I was up against things that I had no compass for. I’d like to say that all of my fears were unfounded, but some of them happened just as predicted.
What I learned is that it still didn’t matter.
Short of losing life, limb, or love, most of the every day things that go “wrong” have very little in the way of long term consequences.
It may leave a physical (or metaphorical) bruise.
But rub a little dirt on it and keep trucking through it.
You’ll have one less thing to be afraid of tomorrow.