Halloween is coming up so let’s talk about something scary!
Back in 2016, I read My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir by Noelle Hancock. Noelle took Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice to “do one thing every day that scares you” for an entire year. What did I do after reading? No, I didn’t vow to scare myself every day for one year. But I did start taking voice lessons for the first time in my life and shortly after started performing solos in church and in private settings for friends. And the results were surprising!
As a shy introvert, getting up and doing anything in front of others is uncomfortable at best. A series of increasingly devastating fears about making mistakes swirl around inside just at the thought of doing anything for an audience. Believe me, the fight-or-flight response and I are very familiar with each other. I suspect many can relate. However, I’ve had small successes here and there with taming that response and growing my confidence when singing for an audience. I expanded my range, I got through songs without shaking, I received compliments and accepted them and occasionally even refrained from responding with a self-deprecating comment.
With anything creative, including writing, you must let go of the fear to push through. Setting up a website and sharing my work is a little spooky for me, but here’s one thing I’ve learned. When you choose to be vulnerable, some of your best, most honest, and most relatable work is born. Check out this blog post for ideas on why fear isn’t a bad thing when it comes to creativity: Fear is your friend. I’d also suggest reading this article about why we fear creativity if this topic interests you: We we fear creativity
I found that the things I’m most afraid to write are also the most satisfying to write! And while they seem to gain the most appreciation or praise from others a majority of the time, the joy from sharing them is the true prize. Below is a rictameter I wrote after practicing a song I was about to perform:
What scares you? How do you overcome fear to pursue your passion, whether creative or otherwise?