Donald Neale Walsch said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Several years ago, I began a quest with a pledge of “fearlessness.” When I segued from the corporate world to work full time as a writer and artist, I made a pledge to do my work courageously and without care for what people might think of me. It’s easy to be fearless when you feel you have nothing to lose. (click to Tweet).
Next month I have an event and am fraught with insecurity and doubt. This is the polar opposite of fearlessness. I’m not sure when I decided I have “something to lose” because clearly, you all know, I’m out of my mind and might as well put it all out there – there IS nothing to lose. Today a friend gave me encouragement to move forward fearlessly, and that’s when I realized I had, once again, breached my pledge to myself.
Artists are, by and large, an insecure bunch. It’s easy to see why. The best art is not based upon pure imitation. It’s fresh, and innovative; it portrays deep ideas or emotions that are intensely personal to the creator and while it may pay tribute to those who’ve gone before us, “good” art needs something more. Something new. Something of ourselves. There is no test group for this. No wonder we’re neurotic….we’re our own test pilots! At any time we could crash in the middle of the Mojave and burn in our own skins. (click to Tweet) Well, perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but sometimes it sort of feels that way. In reality, it’s only a piece of artwork.
Many people encourage us to be fearlessness. The bold, the courageous, the creating out of our minds…that’s where the magic come comes from. (click to Tweet) Very little sweetness comes from trepidation. Very little dazzle comes from restraint. Who wants to trickle? Ick.
So, to my surprise, when I publicly expressed my gratitude for friends who pushed me to be fearless, a ton of support was expressed. When I said I might be a fool, friends encouraged that, too. It’s so easy to encourage other’s foolishness when it’s not your reputation on the line.
So, as I pull myself together and trudge on with fearless abandon…I am counting on the generosity of people’s forgiveness…hoping they won’t laugh out loud right in my face. I take comfort in Elizabeth Gilbert’s story about fear. She told her friend, “ I read through all your anxieties and your fears here. And I just have to say something very bluntly: Your fears about your book aren’t very interesting or very original!” She went on to say they’re the same fears everyone experiences. What a tremendous gift, to hear. “Your fear is boring.” (Watch her video clip here)
It’s been my observation that when we shine the light on what we fear, it retreats into the corners. (click to Tweet) So, I invite you…flip on the floods and shine the light. Do not let it be YOU who retreats to the corners. When it comes to things you DO have control over, put the kibosh on fear. What are you afraid of? What if you stepped into your courage and shined the light on it? What do you have to lose? Feel free to declare your fear here…in public…and let’s all embrace happy, forward moving, foolery together!
Let your light shine,
Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives.