July 12, 2016

Shutting out Fear: 4 Examples

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, so I chose to tell myself a different story.”—Cheryl Strayed, Wild

Come on, be honest: are you ever paralyzed by fear? At the very least, do you ever second-guess or doubt yourself? Life will always be full of challenges, no matter what we’re pursuing. Therefore, life will always provide fertile ground for fear. Personally, I battle fear continually; that’s my personality. Today, I would like to share wisdom about overcoming fear from four respected fellow authors:

  • Dash McCallen is a multi-genre author of fun, light stories.
  • Sandra Kerns is the writer of many light-hearted, gripping romance/mysteries.
  • Eeva Lancaster is one of my esteemed social-media mentors and an author of nonfiction and poetry.
  • Shaheen Darr is a gifted poet who is currently branching out into novels.
Each of them has pushed their way through huge challenges, such as illness, family tragedy, or financial setbacks to find their own road to success in the often ego-battering world of self-publishing. That takes TREMENDOUS courage, as I should know!

I am putting their wonderful words down exactly as they said them, although I have left out some of the words specifically related to writing. They are referring mainly to overcoming fear relative to writing, yet their remarks also relate to overcoming any kind of fear.

How can we Describe Fear?
Dash McCallen

Fear is a dark spot in my soul. Fear of failure, to be specific. Such deep fear that I do not submit my writings to contests and to self-publish is like climbing a vertical wall.

We turn a corner and there is a boulder set in to a pothole and it is labeled “Fear”.
Self-sabotage is a regular thing as I stand and look back over the years.
Overcome Fear by Pushing Through It
Sandra Kerns

Do you know how long it took my friends and sister to talk me into self-publishing? I actually WON the first contest I entered. Well, that was back before self-publishing was “acceptable” and the editor who requested it said, well, maybe if you change this and this. So, I changed this and this and they still turned it down. Obviously, I suck at writing. That’s what I thought for years, but I kept torturing myself and writing more.

Anyways, that winning book underwent many, many rewrites. It is a part of my series that out-sells all my other books every month. So, I guess that editor should have picked me up, huh.

Yeah, that’s what I tell myself now. Well, in between the I can’t believe anyone will buy this. It’s terrible.

WHY do we write? Because we must. Because something inside of us tells us to put the words down so others can see them.
“What Does Not Destroy me Makes me Stronger.” (Thank you, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche!)
Eeva Lancaster

Writing is an act of courage.

Think of it this way…You only live once. And it’s not gonna kill you…and what doesn’t kill you , will make you better. :) What have you go to lose?

I think that we sabotage ourselves because we don’t believe we deserve the good stuff. Because if we did believe that we deserve happiness, success, whatever…we’d go for it. If we have to twist ourselves like a pretzel, we would.

If you didn’t fear failure, you’d have the books polished and be serious about it. Because it would be unacceptable to you to fail. You would do what is needed to give the book a good chance. You attempt to, then you don’t. Like you’re hesitating. Maybe it’s fear of success, not failure?

(Yes, I have a degree on this. Master’s Degree on Failure.)

Writing is an act of courage.
Embrace Difficulty
Shaheen Darr  

I feel it is through writing that the fear goes away. You can say what you want and create characters that no one else can think about. It takes you to another dimension of your brain where fear really should have no place, throw it out. Love your writing…embrace it :))

My Conclusion

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”—2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

My four esteemed colleagues are prime examples of how we can push through fears of any kind in order to find our own brand of success. The message is simple: keep pushing; you’ll eventually give birth to victory. (If you think giving birth is an easy process, any mother will be happy to disabuse you of that notion, including me!)

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How have you pushed through fear to victory?

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