Tag Archives: conquering fear

The Fear…of Success?

We are excited to continue the series SHE with today’s contribution…

 

 
 

“You don’t seem that excited,” said my loving husband.

“No, I am,” I responded.

“You don’t seem that excited,” he repeated in his knowing tone.

“Ok, I’m freaked out,” I admitted.

Earlier that morning I received my first job as a professional writer. I sent in a pitch, it was accepted, and I had my freelancer contract in hand. I should have been over the moon excited, but I actually felt sick to my stomach. I told my husband the good news and, to spite my putting on, he could see I was in panic mode. For the life of me I could not understand why I was on the verge of tears, until I thought about the last time I felt this wonderful. It was the week before my father passed away. 

It was also the week I gave my two weeks’ notice. I was taking my leap into entrepreneurship and going for my dreams and the person I was most excited to share the news with was my dad – also known as, my biggest cheerleader. We talked for an hour about my plans and he gave me the encouraging words I knew I needed to hear.

Three days later, he was gone.

I knew to expect the pain, the loneliness, the fear of going on without him, and the deep sadness, but what I didn’t realize was that I had unconsciously fused joy with pain. One of the saddest days I ever experienced came not one week after one of my happiest. Because of that juxtaposition, I internalized the belief that the other shoe will eventually drop and great happiness is only the prologue to great sadness, so don’t get too happy.

Receiving that acceptance email from my editor set off a countdown to tragedy in my brain. It was only a matter of time until the rug would get pulled out from underneath me. I wasn’t freaked out by what was, I was freaked out about what could be around the corner. 

I have since unlearned that lesson, but I think we all, for one reason or another, are afraid of being too happy. So, we pass on opportunities that could be the gateway to our joy, not because we are worried our dreams won’t come true, but because we are afraid they will. 

We need to release the fear of failure, but, more importantly, release the fear of success.

If you can survive in suffering, imagine how high you can soar in the midst of joy.

 

cherise Cherise Luter is a freelance writer with Bustle.com and Houston Press. To learn more about her or connect with her, visit about.me.

Who invited Timidity to the party?

Timidity is defined as lacking in self-assurance; courage; bravery; easily alarmed.

     Every writer has a distinct voice.  It is nothing short of a miraculous journey in finding that unique voice.  And if a writer desires the profession, he/she must learn and recognize it.  It has taken me a thousand light years, first to accept the call of writer and more years to physically “do the work.”  Life is beautiful in such a way that when we’ve crossed a finish line victoriously only to look up and see another starting line.  I must ask for forgiveness from those that have always supported and encouraged me and to those who’ve decided to take this ride along with me.  You see, I’ve found my voice.  My writing voice.  I accept it probably isn’t the standard-journalistic-school-taught voice.  But it is me, divinely ME.  The ability to weave a  picture sequence in a reader’s mind through words only is what I am capable of, can do almost effortlessly.  Yep, that’s me.  But I realize I am yet using said writer’s voice in a timid manner.  Imagine holding a megaphone up to my mouthpiece ready to grab the attention of a crowded noisy room but only being able to whisper the words. Or running away from the boogey man on a treadmill.  Accomplishing the task, but in such a meager way, my soul senses the inaccuracy.  Not that I seek attention.  My search is for authenticity and I  am learning to care less and less about approval.  And at the seat of authenticity is BRAVERY (refer back to the definition above), the ability to be present, heard, and self approved.  There is no middle scope between the giants of FEAR and AUTHENTICITY, no gray area.  And though I am beginning to feel like I’m conquering the fear of allowing my voice to be heard, somewhere along the way I’ve invited TIMIDITY to the party.

              Self: What shall I write today? Shall I free hand? Work on a few short stories? Self goes about busing herself to write.  Self is elated. 

TIMIDITY: You may write, in fact, I am almost sure you will however you will do it quietly, not ruffle any feathers and pay attention to the critics!

Self then finds herself in a corner with pen and pad in reach but aimlessly staring at nothing.  NOTHING. INACTION. EMPTY PAPER.  UNTOUCHED PEN. PROCRASTATION. ANOTHER DAY.

 Forgive me, Provocateurs, for allowing timidity to seep through my fingers and paralyze my thoughts.  Forgive me for all of the days I allowed timidity to rob me of expressive musings and funny antidotes.  Short stories.  Fashion exposes.  NOVELS. Forgive me for not remembering I am always a student. You have my deepest, most sincerest apologies.

Today I take back my courage and foresight and press toward the mark.  Today I jerk the welcome mat right from under stupid TIMIDITY and close the door in its face. Screw timidity.  I am here, loud and present with my distinctive voice.

 

Xo

 

P.S. Happy Birthday Grandma! Mrs. Irene Fontenot Arvie, we miss you!