Fear, a Constant Companion
To face fear and excuses head on is, in a word, terrifying. It’s so easy to stay comfortable in a small, tucked away world where nothing ever changes. But, you know what, I’m learning that if I want to feed my creativity I must look to fear and excuses as challenges to be met. I must see them and run headlong towards them. If I want to cultivate a creative life I must embrace that I will never be free of fear or the need to make excuses to leave something out of sight and mind.
Honestly nothing I ever produce will ever be perfect but if it's good enough, that is far better than perfect. Truly, because it means that I will actively push it out into the world and share it. It will be finished, done, good enough.
When things get scary or life gets overwhelming all I want to do is hide from my discomfort. To put a pin in my creative outlet. I’m too anxious, too fearful, too scared. Then I realized that if I stopped creating at every wrong turn and every disaster that I’d never create a thing. I’d be stuck in fear making every excuse to not do that thing that I so often claim I want to do. There would be no truth to me as a creative person, a truth which has been back-burnered for too long by fears.
So, in writing this brief piece I am facing my fear and acknowledging its presence. I am understanding that it will never leave me, it will always be a companion along my creative path. But, it doesn’t need to, or get to, make decisions.
Reading (listening to, technically) Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert was so helpful in showing me the parts of creativity that I’ve been struggling with. Namely, fear that cascades into excuses and self censoring. Because as far as my fear is concerned no one wants or needs to hear my voice, and it’s never OK to want to do something solely for myself. Fear would have me believe that every ounce of creative self expression is unnecessary and frivolous.
But I beg to differ, I need my creative flow, it is a vital part of my happiness. The years of self censorship and depression have shown me that. The more I create, the more I embrace the unstable nature of a creative life, the more vibrant my life becomes. The more I acknowledge fear and do things anyway, the more I live free.
—A Recovering Design Imposter