Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Embrace the Fear and Leap

by Karen D. Swim


In my morning email was my daily post from Peter Shankman which encouraged us all to "do something today that scares us." Peter is a skydiver and I can think of few things scarier than leaping from a plane. His words resounded in my head as I considered how to embrace the fear today.

Fear when allowed to reign supreme can prevent you from breaking through to the next level. Fear can manifest in what Ellen Wilson calls the predator known as "editor." It's that little voice that says, "You can't do, say, be that!" Fear can also be sneaky and will masquerade as the voice of reason attempting to dissuade you from your purpose with logic, "if you write off topic, you won't create stickiness," or "no one else is doing that, are you sure it's a good idea?"

The enemy of fear is action. You crush fear by acknowledging it and moving forward anyway. With voices in your head and butterflies in your stomach, you jump (not tiptoe or take a tiny step) into the abyss of the unknown. You may miss your target, you may fail but you will always learn from taking action.

What scares me? This scares me! How Not to Write has even come up with a formula called The Suckage Quotient which aptly describes the daily battle to write in spite of "totally sucking at it." Yet, so many of us do it anyway, sucking be darned! Every press release, article, blog post and assignment convince me I have no business calling myself a "writer."

However, every press release, article, blog post and assignment have fueled my desire to learn more, write more and grow. Ah, the sweet things I would have missed if I had listened to fear.

Today, I've taken another jump and I'm sure I'll survive the fall. What about you? What scares you? Is there an idea that's rattling around longing to break free? Will you take a dive today in spite of fear?

Photo Credit: Igor Jeremic, Flickr


Anonymous said...

I've allowed fear to stop me from doing things in the past, but no more. I'm tired of being scared, and I'm tired of listening to the editors. So, now, I'm going to finish this mammoth project and move on to the next. That's the reason why I chose 'audacity' as my keyword for 2008. Every time I feel myself backing away from an opportunity to put myself forward, I remind myself of my promise to myself to be 'audacious'. Your wonderful encouragement is helping me along the way!

Ellen Wilson said...

Some days I am more scared than others, but I always face the fear of the EDITOR. The super ego of society.

Thanks for sharing the links, and thanks for linking to me.

I think we can be a force for inspiring others. Why be smaller when you can be larger? E

Words For Hire said...

@ Amy, you have also inspired me to embrace fear and move forward. I am happy to take the audacious journey with you!

@ Ellen, I so agree with you! By uniting we can accomplish so much more. I love your writing, insight and wit and am happy to do all that I can to introduce others to you. ;-) Hey, we may just be the future A-list bloggers. Ha! :-)

How Not To Write said...

Thanks for the link, Karen!

Even though the Suckage Quotient still needs some fine tuning, it makes you consider the impact of Desire and Desperation on your hard earned Skills.

I definitely believe that suckage should not stop you from pursuing your dreams!! :)

Brad Shorr said...

Yes, I can relate to what you're saying, Karen. Every time I start a new project I think, how can I put this into words? This is an impossible assignment ... maybe it just goes with the territory.

Words For Hire said...

How Not To Write - love the SQ! Thought provoking wit gets me everytime! Keep the brilliance coming and I shall shamelessly reference. :))

Brad, you do a fine job of it and have provided me a level to aspire..when I grow up I want to be as good as yuou. :-)

Darren Daz Cox said...

hmmm I'd rather that you had written about a personal experience with overcoming fear than just providing links to other peoples work.

I agree with the sentiment but why blog if you're not talking about yourself?

Words For Hire said...

@Darren, appreciate your honesty. The links were not provided for "other people's work" but represented what resonated with me on that given day. It was not meant as a cop out but an honest window to what I was feeling at that moment. My blog is not intended to be a personal journal that would get pretty darn boring quickly but a variety of topics that will often offer my perspective and experience..and I did say what scares me - writing out loud scares me! Thanks for the sentiments, they are gratefully welcomed!