Monday, September 18, 2006

Strategy #1 Overcoming Fear

Fear- every time I think I’m over this one it pops up again. I’ve read that creative individuals often struggle with an extra high sensitivity to constructive criticism and fear. OK-so I get that-I understand it in the intellectual sense, but why then it is still an issue? Why do I keep going back to this every so many years? Why does it flare up again and again?

In our society we don’t often talk about our fears. It is seen as a weakness-a sign of lack of strength or willpower. A wise friend even asked me the other day “so what EXACTLY is it that you are afraid of?” Hmmmm….difficult question, but I’ve come to know what fear sounds like in my head.

“What will she (whoever that “she” might be) think of this latest scrapbook page I did? It doesn’t have any pictures and I used colored pencils for the background. No one else is doing that kind of stuff?!?”

“What will ‘so and so’ think of my newest painting hanging in the gallery?”

“Do I dare donate this piece of art-will someone think that it is ridiculous, ugly, unnecessary?”

“What will someone think when they walk in the house and see this new paint color on my living room wall?”

These conversations go on and on in my brain and it is so hard to stop.

But, I think the bigger your dreams, the farther you want to stretch yourself, the scarier fears you can dream up. My hubby even said to me that sometimes failure seems easier than success, because if success comes our world might change. Yes, the fear of change, the fear of vulnerability, the fear of “what will other people think”?

My goal is to take my fear (I think we all have it and the secret is just to figure out what to DO with it) and turn it into FOCUS. What one thing do I need to do today? What is my next step? Who is it that God needs me to be today? I know that fear is not from Him. He made me creative and He expects me to use the gifts I have. I have been coming back to this verse of the Bible over and over thru the years-anytime fear rears it’s ugly head in my direction.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Yah-I need to kick that “self-discipline” into focus. That’s called time management and goal setting and following through in our modern culture. I need to plug into a bit of that God-given power that says “if it’s OK with God and OK with you-go for it-don’t let other’s opinions, perceptions and questions stand in your way”. I need to wrap everything I do in love-love for my husband, my kids, my friends, and love for my art. That’s FOCUS and that’s going to change my day-today.

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