Sunday, September 20, 2009

Feel the Fear. Do It Anyway.

This week while reading a helpful little book called Release Your Writing by Helen Gallagher, I came across this quote from Helen Keller: "Feel the fear and do it anyway". I have been contemplating the implications of this thought ever since. Gallagher used the quote to encourage writers who might be experiencing writer's block but I feel sure Helen Keller was not referring to something so mundane. Certainly she had plenty to fear, and in fact, the word terror could perhaps be used to describe some of the feelings she had when faced with the giant obstacles she overcame on a daily basis. When I compare my challenges to hers, they sure do feel small and insignificant. Yet fear is a part of everyone's life, even if the challenges are different for each of us. Many people are quite fearful of speaking to a large crowd. This does not bother me but the thought of selling something to someone by making a 'cold call' sets me quaking in my boots. We all have our comfort zones and stepping out of them often results in fear. Sometimes the fear paralyzes us. Sometimes it makes us rationalize staying the in the same place. Sometimes we move so cautiously and slowly that it is hard to tell if we are really moving at all. If we take this advice to heart, we recognize the risk but decide that it is worth it and do it anyway. Certainly Helen Keller knew what she was talking about. I have to ask myself: What am I afraid of? What would happen if I did it anyway?

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