are you fear.less or fear.full?

red riding hood
illustration by studiomme

my own fears & personal neuroses

things i fear:

  • talking on the telephone
  • meeting new people
  • spiders & creepy crawly things
  • lola being hurt
  • never finding the one thing i love doing more than anything else

things i don’t fear:

  • talking in front of large groups
  • telling others what i think
  • mice
  • talking about myself on the internet

after yesterday’s post on labels and two weeks of observation on my ecourse, i know that fear is a big part of what propels us forward and what holds us back. wow, that’s a silly statement. of course that’s what fear does!

it’s in our genes. its that thing that makes us run from the predators and protect the people we value.

but aside from spiders, i’m not too afraid of predators – animal or otherwise. i’m afraid of potentials, of could-bes, of worst-case-scenarios. sometimes i’m so poisoned by fear that i can’t pick up the phone to talk to my own family, or finish a grad school application, or buy a child seat for my bike so that lola can take a ride. fear can overwhelm and consume me about the silliest things, things that won’t happen, things that i simply make up.

on the other hand, i do a lot of things that frankly scare people sh*tless. whether it’s tell my personal stories online, offer services that i’ve taught myself, or speak to a room full of professionals, there are many times when i have no mechanism for fear at all. i simply do & say and never think twice.

the people who inspire me most are the people who have seemingly no fear while simultaneously channeling that deep fear-like feeling into positive results. the people who have made big leaps of faith, who are working to make their dreams come true on a daily basis – no matter what work that might entail.

among those people who inspire me for their fearlessness is danielle laporte, who’s been making crazy news lately. of course, crazy news is a well-timed event focused on her latest business venture – this woman has crazy mad confidence and skills and seemingly zero fear. and because she’s so fear.less, i found out about a new magazine project through her called: fear.less.

danielle has this (from fear.less) to say when she’s talking to others about their fear:

We’re a culture of fear because we’re a culture of conformity. I’m a Zen master when it comes to fear with my entrepreneurial clients. I get out the cane and whack it and tell them, “Get over it.” I ask, “Do you want to be scared or do you want to be broke? Do you want to be scared, or do you want to move forward?”

now this is no business blog, this is a blog about finding your passion and your inherent creativity. so let me ask you, “do you want to be scared or do you want to be dull & stagnate?” danielle might ask you the same.

daughters of the forest
illustration by studiomme

are you ready to move beyond fear?

i think that, for many people, there is deep fear associated with allowing yourself to find your true passion – that thing that makes you want to explode with joy. what if you find your passion and people won’t respect your for it? what if you find your passion and you’re actually no good at it? what if you find your passion and you just can’t pursue it? these are honest questions. if you allow yourself to embrace that fear, to let yourself get full of fear – fear.full – you can use it to do things you’ve not dreamed of.

if you’re fear.full, you channel fear into an powerful force.
if you’re fear.full, you dig deep to bring your creativity to the surface.
if you’re fear.full, you get desperate and make big things happen fast.

if you’re fear.less, you focus on your strengths, nurturing them until they overcome your weaknesses.
if you’re fear.less, you don’t let others lay fear over you.
if you’re fear.less, you find that true place in your spirit where only you reside.

being fearful is boring

i am not a believer in “fate” or “plans” or “destiny” so i have let fears and lack-there-of push me to succeed when i had no hope for much else in my life. i don’t have a safe place to fall back on where “everything works out in the end,” i either embrace fear and dig in – or release fear and move quickly forward. i have no time for being fearful (see word-play above).

when people ask me how i do everything that i do, how i’ve learned what i’ve learned, what they’re asking is what do i do with my fear. i let go of my fear of succeeding at what i truly love to do and embrace my fear of being boring. works like a charm.

what about you? are you waiting on outside forces to bring you your creative passion? or are you embracing/releasing your fear and getting down & dirty?

how has fear influenced your creative process?

fear.less is a completely free – and awesome – magazine to download and features essays by some amazing, world-changing people! i highly recommend it.

17 thoughts on “are you fear.less or fear.full?

  1. Oh boy, I hate talking on the phone too! I get fearful of the littlest things – the things I totally SHOULDN’T be fearful of, and the big things never seem to bother me as much. Crazy isn’t it? I try to remind myself to suck it up, put on my brave face and just do it though, because once it’s over, it’s never worth the fear I had to begin with.

  2. I thought you might enjoy this quote…If you want to find your passion, know your
    life’s purpose, meet your soul mate, or feel intensely alive, don’t look
    toward the fun things that fit logically into the flow of an easy life.
    Ask yourself, “What am I running away from?” Whatever that thing is,
    turn around. Walk toward it. Face it and conquer it, or die trying.
    —Martha Beck via Love Life*Be You

    Something to think about! Love your illustrations!

  3. Wow, I think you wrote this post directly for me! It completely resonated with me and what I’m experiencing as I try and launch my online store. The what-if scenarios and fear of, well everything it feels like sometimes, definitely hold me back. It’s my complete perseverance that gets me through. It’s so hard to move past that fear state…but I’ve heard the best thing to combat it is to do the thing you’re fearful of or take action towards it. Just taking action, even baby steps, makes you feel better and more confident. And I guess I’ll take some fear as long as I’m living my life with passion and following my dreams :)!

  4. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. Brilliant timely and just so true. I’m going to post your “fear-ful/fear-less” definitions on my wall and read them every morning as I sit down to write my book, post to my blog, or make beautiful things for my etsy shop. This is exactly what I need to hear. I just recently broke past a huge fear boundary in my personal life that has been holding me back literally for 13 years plus. Now this is the perfect push to continue that momentum over into my creative professional life! Thank you Tara! I’m so unbelievable grateful!

    Hope Ava

  5. Just the thing I needed to read today, thank Tara! Sometimes it is just too easy to let fear hold you back and get caught up in the what if and could be. It’s nice to be reminded that the best thing to do is to suck it up push on through!

  6. Great Post. Fear drives me far more than It should. A constant internal battle. I actually have a PTSD Diagnosis so to add to the internal mental fear immediately there is a physical reaction as well. BUT, that said, these are excellent words to think of and work with to hop the hurdle of FEAR. Or use it to my advantage. I had never looked at it that way, It really is interesting to realize that I already do that at times without ever realizing. “Psh, bring it feary, I’m all about using you now!” Sometimes you are sorta like a therapist Tara! thank you:)

  7. Hi Tara… I am behind on my reading but thought I should leave my comment before catching up on past posts…

    I have a way that I deal with fear… I make a list of all the things that won’t be changed or lost by doing or not doing whatever it is I’m afraid of… things like
    -enjoying the sunshine
    -loving my children
    -wearing my hair however I want
    -eating chocolate whenever I feel like it…. you get the point.
    I try to focus on my gratitude and joy and I find it always relieves my stress and anxiety. Thanks for another great post… I’m off to read the others I’ve missed :)

  8. Wow, Tara! What a post. I love it. Fear can so easily overcome me- I agree with Piper that it feels like you wrote that post about me. I feel a little of that fear loosen realizing that I’m not alone in my fears about the things around me and especially about my creative life.
    Thank you!

  9. Wonderful post and like many of us, it also resonated with me.

    It’s so true and makes sense especially when you think about what motivates us or keeps us in fear. It also makes us think about how we perceive and think about things because this is what can drive us to do or not do something. I love when you said “i let go of my fear of succeeding at what i truly love to do and embrace my fear of being boring. works like a charm.” So smart! I can completely see how it drives you and anyone to fear.less action. Thanks.

    :)

  10. Fear is a huge thing in most of that can hold us back from the most simple tasks that once started are NEVER as bad as we anticipated. Sometimes when I start to feel fear over part of my creative journey and in turn start to panic or stress, I try to remind myself of a few scenarios to put my fear into perspective. One is of my inspirational Grandmother who in her early 20’s (over 70 years ago) decided she was going to have an adventure before she married and saved up enough money to buy a passage for a boat cruise through the Pacific. She totally defied the ‘norm’ of the time when women simply did not travel alone (this was in Australia). She did not tell her father until just before she left – she said it was one of the most fearfull things she had ever done in her life. But she had a ball and found her independence and had wonderful memories to tell her grand-daughter. In contrast I also remind myself that what I am fearing is something I can choose or not choose to do. Unlike someone being woken in the night and having to flee their home and village because of fear of persecution. That would be real justified fear.

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It’s nice to know that I am not alone. I too have no problems addressing a room full of strangers, but I often won’t answer the phone if I don’t know who is calling! Thanks for sharing…it means a lot.

  12. another great post tara! :) love how you bring this home. and i also find it too funny that the more i learn about you the more we have in common. i’ve become famous amongst family and friends for my fear/dislike/contempt for the phone… and while sometimes i get nervous speaking in front of groups, i often enjoy it a lot too!

    i’ve found blogging, making posters and being an entrepeneur have helped me recognize my fears more than i would have otherwise. and that step of awareness has been huge for me…. these days i’m realizing just how much negativity and fear can slow me down and am trying to keep both at arms length big time – though i have a lot to learn in both areas. all part of the journey!

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