There are so many things we can allow to become barriers to creativity. We’ve talked about a lot of them here: procrastination, lack of confidence, the old false stories we tell ourselves about what we can or can’t do, writer’s block (also known as the muse taking an unplanned vacation).
But really there’s only one thing behind all of these barriers: Fear.
Fear drives all of our crappy decisions. If you think about all the things in your life that maybe you wish you’d done differently, usually you can identify that fear was the driving force behind the choice that you made.
Maybe that choice was how it had to happen, and everything worked out the way it was supposed to—but regardless, in the moment, it might have looked a lot different if we’d been able to face our fears and make a better choice.
I can think of many (major) events in my life that I chose from a place of fear that had long, hard consequences for me. When I look back, I can tell how fearful I was when I made those decisions and how they just didn’t serve me.
But the thing with fear—it’s tricky. It convinces you that it’s acting for your own good. It’s protecting you.
If we take this down to the writing or creative level, it’s usually “protecting” you from the fear of rejection. But by doing this, it’s paralyzing us in our tracks. Fear is not helping you come up with a creative solution to address that worry or anxiety.
It’s keeping you from writing your book, from submitting your query, from approaching that agent at a conference, from reading your poems out loud at a poetry slam, or from sharing a manuscript with a friend to get feedback.
Marianne Williamson says “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous; actually, who are you not to be?”
And then she says, “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
She’s saying that we’re really not afraid of failing or being worthless. We’re afraid of being powerful and successful, and what’s going to happen with our success and how great we’re going to be when we really live up to what we know we can do. Think about that.
So how do you conquer fear? I’m glad you asked. This is where spirituality and writing collide. Here are my three steps:
- Any time you’re able to be still and listen to the voice inside you, then you can start to get to the bottom of your fear. Which means – meditation. I know, I say it a lot. But it’s true. And often we can’t identify our fears on the surface, maybe because it’s hard to admit what we’re afraid of. Meditation can help you get still and listen. Doing this can bring you past the trigger, and help you see what fears are underneath them. It will help you kind of get to the bottom of those fears and be able to conquer them.
- Once you’ve gotten quiet and listened, it’s time to write it down. Grab that journal and get it all down on the page. Journaling and meditation are all about exploring. And they are really important tools to have in your spiritual toolbox. When you’re journaling, it’s all about getting deeper. Asking the questions: Why do I feel this way? What experience caused this feeling? And when you get the answer, write them down because it’s going to help you see more clearly—not only where it started, but also how to overcome it.
- Number three is go toe to toe with your fears. Author Kris Carr calls it “inviting your fears to tea.” So once you’re clear where they’re coming from, then you take them on. You get curious. You learn what they’re all about, what they’re protecting you from, and honestly? It makes them less scary. You’re able to assess them more rationally and determine how much attention you need to give them. You can thank them for their input, but let them know you’re now in charge, and you’re going to make better decisions because now you KNOW better.
If you want a little extra boost of courage, try incorporating these essential oils into these steps: Frankincense, Geranium, Black Spruce, Lavender. If you’re a Young Living fan, Valor and Motivation are great blends of a lot of these and more.
You can also incorporate crystals into your practice. Some of my favorites are: amethyst, citrine, garnet, moonstone, black tourmaline, and blue lace agate.
And that’s the way we start to approach and conquer our fears—and start moving forward with our big dreams. How are you going to apply this to your writing—or your life? Head over to IG and let me know!