“Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.”
– Bene-Gesserit saying, from Dune by Frank Herbert; 1920-1986
Fear is the biggest block to releasing our greatest creativity, to unleashing our inner genius. Fear that we can’t do it, fear that we don’t have what it takes, fear that whatever we produce won’t hack it. In our irrational, fear-driven, “reptilian” brain, failure equals shame, ridicule and weakness, which equals loss of status, shunning and abandonment which equals death.
How to become our own best muse? Two ways, not one, but two ways!
One Right Brain Way, One Left Brain Way! (I remember the difference by the mnemonic, Left Brain is “Logic” (i.e. intellect) and Right Brain is “Relationships” (i.e. emotions)).
The cognitive based approach is to acknowledge our inner critic, recognize and label the surrounding emotions clearly, accept them, even embrace our fears as well-meaning although misguided friends attempting to protect us from harm (see “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway” by Susan Jeffers). I sometimes envision myself sitting at a campfire in the woods, inviting my fears to come out of the dark, sit down and roast marshmallows with me. Unveiling them, making friends with your fears, removes much of their mystic and thus their power.
A more right brain approach is to practice expressing our deepest emotions and getting greater comfort around being vulnerable. An excellent fear-liberating technique is to whip out your cell phone and spend 90 seconds, a mere minute and a half writing a message to someone whom you love, perhaps someone you have not reached out to in a while. Express your deepest emotions, your truest feelings. Put your purest heart, your deepest self out there. Pretend that this may be the last message they ever get from you, so hold nothing back. Got it? Now press send….
The very act of accessing and sharing our deepest emotions is an act of courage and self-expression that frees our creativity and boosts our confidence.
“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent van Gogh; 1953-1890
“You write your first draft with your heart and you re-write with your head. The first key to writing is to write, not to think.” – Sean Connery; 1930-
“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” – Joseph Chilton Pierce; 1926-
“Creativity requires that you leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.” – Alan Alda; 1936-
“Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.” – Nolan Bushnell; 1943-