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The Fear of Taking the Next Step

I’ve been particularly struck lately by the power of creativity. The impact you could have on a person’s life by simply being brave and open to self-expression.

I used to doubt that word: self-expression.

It seemed fabricated, as if people were trying to force something out of themselves that wasn’t there to begin with. Or else were closing in on themselves, self-focusing and thereby shutting out the world. And while that might be true sometimes, I think most of the time, self-expression never happens at all.

Fear is a very real thing, and keeps us bottled up inside. In fact, if it were not for personal handicaps that have kept me from pursuing other avenues in life, I’m not sure I ever would’ve allowed my own creativity to see the light of day. I had nothing to lose by pursuing my writing: I couldn’t hold a job, I couldn’t volunteer or give of my time to other causes, other things that I saw as more important at the time. But over the years, by devoting myself to creativity and self-expression, I have found that I have not shut out the world by being self-centered: it’s the exact opposite.

I am so much more open to experiences, emotions, and connections to other people than I have ever been before. And the more recognized I’ve become through my art, the more it terrifies me. For the first time, I’m scared to take the next step, because it might be noticed.

And if it’s noticed, I can’t go back.

But I don’t want to go back!

I want to keep going. I want to write for the rest of my life, and make an impact on the world. It’s just that I thought I had to do something more than my writing in order to do that. But I just need to do what comes naturally to me. I need to allow what is easily inside of me to come to the surface. And to be seen by the rest of the world.

So look out world. Here I come.

Don’t let your fear stop you, or you might close up. You might shut out the world. You might never truly experience it. We only have one life. And it’s never going to be perfect. So why self-sabotage?

It’s. Just. Not. Worth it.

Be creative. Express yourself. And do it for others. By doing it for yourself, it cannot stay with yourself. It must – and will -influence the world.

One thought on “The Fear of Taking the Next Step

  1. Wow! Great insight! My 15yo and 11yo daughters were in an art fair today – their first one. And they were TERRIFIED! I think it was that fear of letting people see a part of you that is expressed through your art. What if nobody likes it? Is that the same as “What if nobody likes me?” I think it might be. I feel that way with my cooking. It is a part of me – my creative side. And if nobody likes it, then maybe they don’t like that part of me also. But I guess we need to step out and share ourselves with the world! Thanks for inspiring me to do so!

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