In Others’ Words: Are You Scared?
Fear likes to tell us no.
No, you can’t (fill in the blank).
No, you can’t learn to dance — you’re not coordinated enough.
No, you can’t sing well enough to try out for school chorus.
No, you can’t try out for that sports team. What makes you think you’re good enough to compete with those other kids?
No, you can’t apply for that mission trip because what if something awful happens and you get sick or even die over there in that foreign country?
No, you can’t pursue your dream job … who are you kidding? You’re not the most qualified person for the position.
No and no and no and no and no and no.
If fear has its way — and it does, let’s just admit it — we’ll live such limited lives, hemmed in all around by Nos.
I remember the first time I was invited to join a fiction writing group — me and my no-one-else-has-read-a-word-of-this work in progress (WIP). I showed up with my requested first five pages and sat on the couch while an award-winning, best-selling, multi-published author read my first attempt at fiction out loud. Truth be told, I sat near the arm of the couch, hoping no one could see me shake.
I was s-c-a-r-e-d.
The fact that I’m writing this blog post today proves I survived that experience. Fear was saying, “No, you can’t go to that group! What are you thinking? You’ll waste their time.” But there wasn’t a “no” waiting for me, even though I had a lot to learn about novel writing. I was welcomed into the group — imperfect, scared me.
In Your Words: When has fear tried to tell you “No” and hold you back? How have you pushed back and defeated fear?
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