publishing

The Ball and Chain Called Fear

Nah, I haven’t made a switch to writing horror short stories, just musing today on fear, and how it really does hold us back from so much. Even things we’re not aware of.

We all enjoy living in our safe little bubbles, don’t we? To some degree or another, we prefer to control our environments to protect ourselves from that uncomfortable feeling that THINGS ARE OUT OF OUR HANDS.

Understandably. That’s kind of a scary thought. It’s one thing to¬†know that you can’t control everything — people cancel/change plans and you shrug it off; you go ahead and plan that outdoor event because, meh, it might rain but that won’t ruin your day — and a whole other thing to accept that this truth applies to every area of your life.

How much do you stop yourself from doing every day because the consequences are unknown? Your spouse did something this morning that annoyed you, but you don’t want to start a fight, so you don’t say anything. You see a job opportunity that REALLY sparks your interest, but you don’t apply for it, because what if the salary isn’t as much as you earn now or you don’t like the new team as much?

In thinking about it this morning, I realized that I need to wonder how much success I’ve missed out on because of my fear of failing at this whole writing thing.

I’ve taken a lot of chances since I’ve started publishing. Moving into full time writing might have been my biggest one, but, for some reason, not the scariest. Maybe because there were still so many elements about it that were in my control.

I’ve also put money into courses and promotions that I thought would be more of a help than they turned out to be (experience and lessons learned! Never a waste), and listening to advice that simply didn’t work for me.

I’ve also passed over opportunities because I didn’t feel I knew enough about the situation/subject to go for it. Marketing for me is a four-letter word, and I feel as though I spend half my work hours (and off hours, and trying-to-get-to-sleep hours) trying to figure out what steps I can take to reach more readers without being gross and salesy or that, ideally, won’t cost me my first-born child’s soul to do it.

The point of this post? I guess it was just a chance to be honest about the fact that despite everything I’ve accomplished so far, I’m still afraid that this is the end of the road. That I’ll never figure out how to move beyond the point where I am… unless I open myself up to whatever comes next. This post is a way to remind myself (and possibly you) that there is no such thing as a bad choice. They’re all just opportunities to develop and learn.

This post is a chance for me to grab on to fear and do my best to throw it aside for the next twenty-four hours and to be happy with who I am and what I have to offer. To find new ways to let my Me-ness shine through so I can take one step closer to achieving everything I’m striving for.

And maybe I wrote this post to prove a point to myself: that if I can write a blog post that scares me a little, then I can do anything. Baby steps.

What have you done to get past a fear that was standing in the way of something you wanted? Or, if that obstacle is still there, what is your plan to overcome it? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

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