The One Fear That Will Destroy Your Art
The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have one great fear. One haunting apparition. This nagging feeling lurks around every corner in life, waiting to destroy me.
What am I afraid of?
I am afraid to be myself. I am afraid to write. Nay, to consider myself a writer. I am afraid to be what I am. To try, to fail, to grow.
I am afraid to be wrong, to be humbled, to admit the truth. I’ve failed before, and therefore I will fail again.
I am afraid.
I am going to kick fear in the ass and do what I must do, anyway. I am going to write. Some good words, some bad. Some great prose, some terrible.
But I will write without complaint or apology as if my life depended on it. In fact, it does. My inner life suffers when I do not answer this call to be me. The cost of not pursuing a dream is greater than the cost of failure.
I love what one person recently said about living out his calling as a writer. When a friend asked his mother-in-law, “How does he do it?” she replied, “The more difficult question is, how did he not do it all these years?”
How is it that you have spent all this time, dodging your dreams? Are you afraid? Not of failure, but of success? Of being who you really are? Of being exposed? You are not alone.
Not all failure looks like devastation. Sometimes, it looks like succeeding in the wrong things. Or deferring your hope for another day. Or letting fear hold you back from living an adventurous, creative life.
It’s scary to be yourself. To be that raw and honest and vulnerable. That’s why most choose to hide.
Not me. Not any longer. Here is my pledge: Today, I choose my dreams. Today, I am a writer. Today, I face the dragon of self-doubt and step into destiny.
This is the day that I will be myself. And tomorrow, I will have to do it all over again.
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What about you: What fear is keeping you from your art? Share in the comments.