Fear-and other things holding us back


As I was going through my Facebook posts this morning, my good friend, Kari, posted about her self-doubt in writing. Am I just wasting my time? Are there other things I should be doing? Her post elicited all kinds of responses that struck a familiar cord with so many writers, me included. I’ll walk past my computer, and look at the black screen and think, “I really should sit down and write.” Instead I end up on my tablet playing some mindless game. It distracts me from writing.

Distractions are nothing more than fear manifesting itself. Fear that we can’t think of ideas, fear that we won’t have anything to write about, fear that our writing will be terrible. Even as I write this blog, I fear. Will anyone read it, will my words ring true? Is it well written? Will people judge me because of my lack of poetic/literary eloquence?

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about the topic of fear. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz addresses this issue. He says, “To fight fear, act. To increase fear-wait, put off, postpone.” He also says, “Do what you fear and fear disappears”. The longer we put something off because we fear doing it, the greater the fear becomes. Fear holds us back. Fear immobilizes us. When we fear we are limiting ourselves. I attended a leadership convention last week. This remark lingers with me still. “Danger is real, fear is a choice.” 

So how do we overcome fear? It’s really easier than you might think. It’s just doing the thing you fear. It’s putting your hiney in the seat and putting your fingers on they keyboard and write. (Or with pen and paper if that is your preference). Don’t think about how good or bad your writing is. The most important thing is to just do it.


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2 thoughts on “Fear-and other things holding us back

  1. Great post, Betsy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I have to say that while I knew I wasn’t alone in the way I have been feeling, I was surprised at how everyone – even writers who I perceive as highly successful in every way – experiences moments, or even days or weeks, of doubt and fear. I’m going to keep going back to all the amazing insight I have been given by all my dear friends such as yourself whenever I start feeling myself fall into that pit again. You rock. hugs~

    • Kari, you should read the book, The Magic of Thinking Big. It has really helped me to view fear in a whole new light. Another great book is The Ant and the Elephant. Both are excellent for anyone who wishes to do big things, but fear sometimes hold them back. You are an amazing writer! Don’t let that fear derail you.

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