Excerpted from Fearless Creativity, by Beth Mende Conny
Opposites help us better understand the world. Without day, we would not know night. Ditto for up/down, in/out, left/right. Each defines the other.
Not so fear and courage. They coexist. They are, in fact, a dynamic duo. Without their push and pull, we would remain stationary, become stagnant. Our dreams would die.
Courage moves with fear toward a goal. Therefore, it is important for you to acknowledge not just your fears but your courageous acts. Some acts are awe-inspiring: you’ve sailed solo around the world or founded one of the world’s largest corporations. Others are personal: you’ve survived breast cancer or entered a talent contest. Still others are so woven into your everyday life that you overlook them. You have forgotten all the courage it took to master them, such as to learn how to walk, drive a car or raise your hand in class.
All of which is to say, you are more courageous than you think — and you’ve got a track record to prove it. Here’s how to create that record:
- List actions that required courage on your part. Don’t compare yourself to others, however. Courage is relative. Label this list “Acts of Courage.”
- Choose different types of acts:
- Public acts, namely, those you did in front of others (e.g., performed at an open mic night)
- Private acts (e.g., took a lower-paying but more socially meaningful job)
- Everyday acts (e.g., began a daily exercise routine)
- As you bring your dreams to life add them to your Acts of Courage list. It will help counter the inevitable fears that arise when you move into new territory.
- Review your list every week or so to remind yourself you’re braver than you think. In the process, you will become your own role model.
In my book Fearless Creativity, I have worksheets and Q&As that provide that proof. Use them to spur you to action—to write.
Excerpted from Fearless Creativity, an indispensable companion to the creative life. In it, you’ll find ideas and exercises to reclaim your time—and your dreams.
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