Fear camouflages itself as confusion and keeps brilliant creative women from the pleasures and successes of a fully expressed life.
And fear’s number one choice when trying to trip you up?
Your inability to choose.
Your refusal to take a seat at the table of desire. To say, “I want this! And I am willing to work for it!”
Let’s scope out exactly how fear hides behind not choosing:
… planning and then planning some more. So much better than trying things!
… not having a system that works for you to capture and organize your ideas, getting scattered and frustrated and then quitting.
… keeping your life filled to overflowing, running from one thing to the next, barely time to pay bills let let alone focus. Then you never notice you aren’t choosing or sticking with your creative desires!
… telling yourself your idea has already been done. Fear and Comparison are best friends.
… “I need to learn more first.” Yes yes go take another course or get another certification!
… going into a big bookstore / museum / multiplex theater / walking down Broadway and thinking “Who the hell cares if I ever create anything?” Nobody is what Fear wants you to believe.
… sitting down to work on your project and then looking up two hours later from the internet, dazed and fuzzy from doing research and then the doubt sets in. Fear loves distractions.
… choosing! focusing! getting to work! and then getting bogged down in minutia, losing all perspective and momentum (as in moving the comma, putting the comma back). Fear and Perfectionism were roommates in college.
… setting up a war between head and heart as in heart says, “travel the world,” while head yells, “But remember your budget and credit score!” Fear thinks black and white thinking looks good on everybody.
… working flat out for a week or a month, then everybody in your life getting pissed at you and maybe you forget to pay the electric bill and the power got cut off so you swear off creating forever. It’s too dangerous. Fear adores the all-or-nothing approach and abhors regularity and balance.
… believing that a creative commitment is permanent and thus defines you and your interests for all time (terrifying). Fear wants you to believe there is only one right way to choose and be successful.
… believing that any less-than-ideal results from said creative commitment – like failure, rejection, or choosing the “wrong” thing – are permanent and a total loss. Learning and growing don’t happen in Fear’s world.
… confusing beginning with knowing the right place to begin.
Don’t start if you don’t know where to start Fear heckles.
… starting and then realizing the beginning you first chose a few days or weeks ago is not the right one and so going back to redo that beginning…and then starting from there… and then in a few weeks realizing the new beginning doesn’t work so you need to go back again. Or Fear sends you back, again and again, until you get it right… which happens only never.
… copying other creative working styles that don’t work for you and thinking you are undisciplined and a loser. Fear loves the articles on the internet about how Marie Forleo or Tim Ferriss get so much done.
… confusing knowing the whole arc of the project with knowing the next step to try. Fear loves the big picture and hates the small incremental human scaled steps.
… always putting time monsters first (things that need to be done but you do them before you work or make them a bigger deal i.e. visit elderly mom everyday first thing instead of writing; volunteer for kid’s school when you need that precious time to paint). Fear loves you to do the little stuff forever and ever.
… refusing to forgive yourself for ______ (fill in the blank). Fear, most of all, worships being cruel to yourself.
Fear is crafty, right! An amazing little part of your brain, whose mission is to keep you defended and living in the zone of certainty, even if that zone has a view of a garbage strewn alley and gunfire popping off every five minutes.
Cause that what’s really happening when you don’t choose – you’re allowing – through no fault of your own! – your well-worn neural pathways, your conditioned nervous system, your very normal tangle of experiences and beliefs, to determine the course of your creative life.
Welcome to being human!
And also welcome to another moment to begin again. To decide that your attention can be trained to follow your intention to create what you most care about no matter what.
Because here’s the truth, a truth I have lived into for 30 years as I’ve supported myself and my family as a creative:
Choosing is the ticket price to the creative life.
And it’s not nearly as expensive a price to pay as you may imagine it is.
Is it possible you’ve made choosing and committing a scary monster that slavers under your bed and if you turn on the lights – by getting into action and using the ideas I’ll share with you next – you might find nothing more than a bunch of dust bunnies and maybe one tiny monster who simply needs a little love and attention?
I say let’s find out!
Because if you are ready to break the pattern of not choosing and find a better way – one that is loving and fun and super-effective – then join me for Choosing is the Ticket Price to Your Creative Life challenge.
It starts September 10th and I take you through a process to help you discern what’s your next creative or life project.
By September 16th, you will be in action on something you care about.
And best of all? The challenge is completely free.