On Fear + Creativity

Often when we feel closest to the thing we want the most, what we feel the most passionate about, the thing we should be doing, we feel our pulse begin to shake, our heart pound, an intense need to run begins to build in us, and fear begins to churn through every part of our body. It happens in relationships and with careers, and it especially applies to creativity.

The closer we get to the moment of action, to finally picking up the paint brush, writing the first line of a story, going to a music lesson, taking our first dance step, is the moment we seem to hesitate the most. Feet firmly planted on the cliff, toes nudging toward the edge, we freeze.

We know that jumping will result in something positive - it’s the move we have to make in order to get to what we truly desire. And what’s the worst that can happen, we ask ourselves. The falling, we say. The falling might hurt. The rush of the fall in the pit of our stomach might feel uncomfortable and strange. What if we get to the bottom and we don’t get what we want after all? Perhaps it’s all too good to be true.

It’s in this instance that we have to muster the greatest strength and courage. I will love you even though it’s scary. I’ll create even though I don’t know what’s next or if it will support me. Instead of running away from the fear, the most crucial thing you can do in this moment is turn toward it, use it to propel you over the edge. It’s the greatest risk that often yields the greatest reward - the people we admire the most are the ones most willing to walk toward the unknown and not away from it.

Dive away.

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