Fear: Friend or Foe?

Imagine you are telling a story to your best friend. As you see laughter crinkle the corners of her eyes, as you see the smile spreading across her face, as you hear the giggle rising in her throat, you thoroughly enjoy telling her your story, delighting in her appreciative reaction.

Now imagine telling your story to someone who makes it clear, right from the start, that she finds your story tedious. She makes it very clear that she thinks you are wasting her time, that your story is not only tedious but verges on the edge of the ridiculous. Her eyes glaze over as she tunes you out and soon she is looking across the room to see who else she knows…

Next time you tell your story, you will be much less enthusiastic than you were after you told your story to your best friend.

Many writers sooner or later suffer from writers’ block. Should they attend one of my “Write Your Story” retreats, we talk about fear, amongst other things, as the cause of their writers’ block. Fear that their story is not good enough, fear that they will get negative reviews, fear that they will never find a publisher.

Fear not only gives writers writers’ block, it also undermines their productivity. It undermines the productivity of anyone how has to be creative when problem-solving.

For that reason, my writing workshops also attract non-writers, can’t-writers and never-will-be-able- to-write-writers.

Fear is only an emotion. How you react to your fear is your choice. You can allow it to dominate you and immobilise you, or you can allow it to shock you awake and energise you to realise your wildest imaginings.

I don’t know about you, but fear of change is my greatest fear. Unwanted, unexpected, unpredictable, unavoidable change. Even planned change can scare us if we allow it to do so, immobilise us so that we cannot make the changes we intended to make.

If you allow it, fear can blind you, limit your vision, narrow your perspective, restrict your productivity by making obvious solutions invisible, so “do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7

If you allow fear to paralyse you, you will never be able to creatively cope with change. Margaretha Montagu

If you like this vignette of my life here in Gascony, you can escape to the south of France for a virtual visit by subscribing to my mailing list HERE.

Coming soon: Virtual Write Your Story Retreat for writers and can’t-writers

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