Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Fear Prohibits Ideas from Happening

I read this in a recent fear.less newsletter:

Fearless Stories

Recent copy of fear.less magazine

The cure for claustrophobia is trust.

Most everyone hides big ideas deep under layers of fear and silence, because big
ideas are big targets for the doubtful’s darts of skepticism.

These ideas, thoughts  and plans are ventured very slowly, because it hurts a lot to have them criticized.

If my so-called support system shoots down an idea the size of the moon, what am
I going to do with the one that’s the size of the earth?

The shame of that question
sometimes brings us to the brink of implosion.

Convicting, isn’t it?

Fear is stupid but powerful.

So often, what we fear never happens. But every once in awhile, it does. And like the biblical character Job, we say, “I knew this would happen.”

One unfortunate tragedy confirms years of apprehension and anxiety. And we retreat deeper into inaction.

Fear is potent.

It has its talons sunk deep into you. But you can and must break free.

Fear is the antithesis to creativity.

Creativity bring loves and delight, and fear keeps those powerful emotions at bay, locked up in some deep, dark prison in your soul.

Here’s the deal: Creativity eventually wins. Your ideas don’t go away, do they? When you give in to fear, you only grow more frustrated. Your ideas continue to bubble in your mind and heart, wanting to be let out.

And as you suppress them, part of you slowly dies.

But there is Resurrection.

And it begins with you acknowledging your fear, moving past it, and creating something anyway, today. Don’t worry about how good it is. Just try to put something out there. It’ll get better as you go.

Please do this today. Don’t give in to fear. Not today. There is too much at stake — far more than you may realize. We need your ideas.

It’s time to dream again.

How does fear prohibit your ideas from happening?

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • Psyched to be the first in to comment on this brilliant little missive to the world of passionate creatives!

    I feel what you are writing totally and completely, Jeff. Way to go. You expressed a sentiment that contains such an important truth with unabashed clarity and deftness of skill.

    How long can we keep our ideas, especially the best, most actionable ones, at bay, before they create their own means of bursting through and practically forcing us to acknowledge their worth?

    It’s only a matter of time before creativity wins out, defeating the dastardly kryptonite of fear. But, like you say – with a certain subtle elegance, I might add – let’s make it today, let’s make it now.

    Great way to start a Thursday.
    Thanks, Jeff!

    Peter

  • I don’t know if it prevents them but more propels them. Because it forces me to go beyond my own reliance and to realize that it is not just me doing what I am doing.

    But fear does play a role in my life of ideas. Mainly because I doubt that people will say yes, ideas will ever happen, or opportunities will arise.

  • Good stuff Jeff.

    Fear definitely is a monster. It can push you or destroy you. I know personally, as a songwriter, fear can keep me from sharing or even writing music?! That’s crazy.

    But if we can push through our fears, it can really be quite satisfying and rewarding.

    How about you? Your fears?

    • I’m afraid of not making a difference.

      • Anonymous

        You ARE making a difference.

  • Keith Jennings

    Nice post, Jeff! I, too, enjoy reading fear.less.

    I think those stickers on cars and trucks that say, “No fear,” are silly. Do you know the ones I’m talking about?

    Without the presence of fear, we can’t grow brave. Without the experience of pain, we can’t grow tough. Courage and toughness come solely through action in the presence of these inconveniences we call fear and pain.

    What I love about what you’re saying is that fear is fear. And, like our ideas, it isn’t going away. Our choice is to die a slow death or rise up and breath new life into ourselves and the world.

    And we do this through action. Beautiful, Jeff! Keep ‘um coming!

  • Jman2872

    We can choose to let it cripple us or elevate our true self! Not sure where i got this??? But i say it when im not being realistic! FEAR——> False Evidence (that) Appers Real!

    Create and live!! Thx Jeff ūüėÄ

  • I love this, too!

  • Been following you for a while now on twitter. Great stuff Jeff! Thanks for all your insight.
    John Finch

  • Angie

    “Fear Not” is my theme for 2012.¬†Did you know there are ten “fear not” references in the Bible?¬†Not sure when you posted this, but I’m getting a bunch of “thoughts for the day” for my calendar from it. You’re right: fear is stupid and powerful. And it murders creativity. Thanks so much for this reminder.

  • The fear of mistakes prohibits an ¬†unbridled move forward on my part. ¬†I like what you wrote by saying “creativity wins”. ¬†It’s true. ¬†It’s just a matter of removing the fear and making it happen faster. ¬†Thanks

  • Fear is often paralyzing if we don’t learn to harness it and use it productively. My biggest problem is a fear of rejection. I know, that’s not great for a writer who has to put himself out there all the time. I’m learning to cope with it though. That’s a part of the gig. I just try to remind myself that I’m confident in my work and myself and, even if some people don’t like it, the world won’t come crashing down around me. I’m also afraid of failure (to me that means not impacting anyone else’s life).

  • If faith is the evidence of things hoped for then fear is the¬†evidence¬†of things dreaded. They are opposites and cannot exist in the same place: like light scattering darkness.¬†
    I will shatter my fear with faith. I can do this! I am doing this! It is done! 

  • Thank you for the encouragement to “create anyway.” Patience mixed with perseverance and the determination to not let fear win – a solid combination.