I need to write them down to get them out of me, to know what might be standing in my way how I might be sabotaging myself. If I face the fears, I at least know what I’m dealing with.
I’m afraid that my voice, my ideas, thoughts aren’t good enough, smart enough, clever enough, that someone else knows better than I do.
I’m afraid of having to sell. That is, pitch something… mostly when I don’t believe in it. I’m afraid that someone else can do it better. I’m afraid that what I think will be seen as a dumb idea. I realize we all have our strengths, that one of our strengths is knowing what we’re good at, but what if I simply underestimate myself? What if assuming someone else can do it better is really sabotaging myself, giving up without trying, limiting myself? Why not at least try?
I’m afraid that people will lose interest in what I have to say, that no one will care, that I’ll be a "has been." That my greatest achievements are behind me. I know Elizabeth Gilbert says that her greatest achievements ARE most likely behind her, that she can make peace with that when she credits a deity for her success… as in, it was never her achievement to begin with, just as her failures aren’t truly her doing either. Given this logic, it seems the key to success is taking no credit for your own successes or failures. You’re simply the tool, and the art courses through you; it’s never been "yours."
I’m afraid I won’t achieve as much as my contemporaries. Why am I keeping score, and how exactly do you keep score anyway? By books published, marriages kept, children born? Why aren’t I comparing myself to myself? I shouldn’t be looking at everyone else’s stopwatches. I should be looking to improve my own record.
I’m afraid Phil will die, and I won’t be able to support my family. I want the security.
I want recognition and validation and need to give more of it to myself.
I’m afraid I live a boring life, that I have no interesting stories because I never do anything.
I’m afraid I’ve forgotten how to have fun. I miss taking classes, water colors, painting, drawing, photography. I want to do more with it, but I fear Phil will see it as a waste of time. This just made me cry. This is true. I want to learn more. Today I will research classes, day classes.
I’m afraid I have no more stories left in me, that I have nothing left to say. Mostly, I worry that inspiration won’t come, that doors won’t open, that I’ll never have another idea again. This is by far the most absurd thought I’ve ever had.
I’m afraid of being cliche, of not being different enough.
I’m afraid of being so different that no one can relate.
Of being too introspective, of having to be what other people want me to be, of allowing myself to be governed by "what will people think?" Of not being funny enough, thoughtful enough, kind enough, fast enough, gracious enough, organized enough.