Monday, March 21, 2016

Meet My Fear {#SOL16 Day 21}

Have you read the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert?  If you haven't, stop reading this post right now and go get that book.  Seriously.  It's that good.

This is the first book that I read that got me really thinking about the role that fear plays in my creative life.

Fear keeps me from starting.

Fear keeps me from ending.

Fear tells me it's no good.

Fear tells me I'm not a writer.

Fear tells me that I'm crazy to think that what I create matters.

Fear talks me out of taking chances.

Fear keeps me in my comfort zone.

In Big Magic, Gilbert tells us that fear can come along for the ride in our creative lives, but we must never let it drive.  We can't let it control us.  It doesn't get a say.  It doesn't get a vote.

That's all great and a bit reassuring, but I needed something more.  Fear is such an ambiguous thing.  I needed to see fear as something physical, something I could touch, something I could physically remove from my life when I needed to.

So, I'd like you to meet my fear:
I went online to Amazon and bought the ugliest stuffed animal I could find.  (Apparently, this is a character from Despicable Me, or so my daughter informs me.)

Now, when fear starts to take over, I can take him and shove him in a closet.  Keep him from driving.
But that's only if my two dogs don't conquer my fear for me first.  They've already been sniffing him out.


15 comments:

  1. I love this post, and you've intrigued me to want to check out this book. Love,love,love, the tangible way to get rid of fear.

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  2. Oh my goodness, I LOVE your "Fear" manifested as a stuffed animal. I have one too. Mine is Fear from the movie "Inside Out". Another good book that reminded me of "Big Magic" is Rob Bell's new book, "How to Be Here". Loved that one too!!!

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  3. I love having a concrete something that represents fear. That way we can throw it against the wall or use it as a fetch toy or even tug of war toy. Sounds like you're doing a good job of paying attention to Gilbert!

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  4. I love having a concrete something that represents fear. That way we can throw it against the wall or use it as a fetch toy or even tug of war toy. Sounds like you're doing a good job of paying attention to Gilbert!

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  5. I have that book and I haven't read it, so out it comes. Ridiculously enough I have a snow day today, so I will have time to read it! I love the idea of a physical representation of fear to put in the closet.

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  6. I love this.... too funny. Your ending really got me - I do think your dog might conquer (or play with) your fear. Fear is inspiring - it pushes us to our deep feelings and thoughts, but you are right that it cannot stop us. I will check out that book.
    Thanks
    Clare

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  7. Now you can put "fear" in the closet any time you like. A great analogy for students as well!

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  8. Michelle Haseltine just put this book on her touchstone list. I bought it long ago, but still haven't opened it. So many books catch me! I love your idea, however, and I would throw "it" in the closet too!

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  9. This one is at the top of my summer reading list - cannot wait!

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  10. This one is at the top of my summer reading list - cannot wait!

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  11. I read it and I loved it. If you're on Instagram you should follow Elizabeth Gilbert. She has a PODCAST series that is worthwhile too. I also really, really, enjoyed Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Oh, and I think it's *brilliant* that you bought the stuffed animal to symbolize your fear. I like it, I really like it!

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  12. I have not heard of this book, but I'm really interested in looking into it. I think that fear keeps a lot of us from doing things. Thank you for being that voice and inspiration to get me to put my fear in the closet! I would never have started this challenge! :)

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  13. I hesitated to get the book. After reading your post, I will order the book, and maybe get a stuffed ugly animal too.
    Thank you for sharing your fears.
    xo
    Pamela

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  14. I hesitated to get the book. After reading your post, I will order the book, and maybe get a stuffed ugly animal too.
    Thank you for sharing your fears.
    xo
    Pamela

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  15. This books sounds wonderful, Jennifer. Even on the best of positivity days, fear can creep in without warning. The trick is not to let it drive the positivity bus-sounds like a plan.

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