Fear is an emotion. Like other emotions, it can be controlled. You cannot overcome fear. You can only control it.
"Never take counsel of your fears," is attributed to great military leaders of the past. The last to use the phrase was General George S. Patton when he commanded Third Army during World War II.
To control fear, you must remember what you are trying to accomplish. Fear is nothing more than an obstacle. Obstacles are made to be conquered. You go over them, around them, under them, or through them. You never let an obstacle stand in your way.
Writers and other artists are plagued by fear. What if they cannot produce? What if their newest work is not as good as their last? Are they really as talented as people believe?
Writer's block is a type of fear, especially if it paralyzes and stops the flow of words. The cure? Write. Write anything. Write what is on your mined right now. Write your grocery list. Write about the things your significant other does to tork you off. Just put inane words on paper. Never take counsel of your fears. As the Nike commercial says, "Just do it".
In the military and on the police department I learned the most important thing. Self survival is the first and highest law of nature. If you keep that in the back of your head you can control fear and accomplish whatever it is you need to.
Some of the greatest men in history had fears. They used and channeled their fears to accomplish great things.
It is said that Hemingway feared the blank page. Yet, he wrote everyday.
Fear is an emotional response like anger, love, hate, or indifference. You have the power to control it.
The first time I shot a fashion show I was terrified. I thought I did not belong there. I was there. There was no turning back. I shot. When I got home I even amazed myself at the pictures I took, after all the out takes were deleted.
The first time I was hired to shoot a major charity event I was in fear. This was a big deal with several well known people and celebrities. Once I was there I just shot. What was the worse that could happen? They would not pay me? My fear was unwarranted. Most of the pictures came out fine. I got paid and referred for more work.
The day my daughter was born was the most terrifying day of my life. I knew I needed to change my whole modus operandi. I held her in my hands that day and made a promise. She would never ever see, hear, or read anything negative about her father on the front page of the newspapers. I changed the way I operated as a cop.
When I did hit the whole front page of the newspaper it was for something totally mundane.
You either control fear or it controls you. Fear forces you to make choices. Act or do not act. Flee or fight. Write or do not write. Create or do not create. Move or stay still.
The hardest part of fear is the easiest. Just put one foot in front of the other and move. Put one word on the page and then another. Shoot one picture and then the next. Put one blob of paint of the canvas and then another. Decide to make a change and change.
Action is the only response to fear. Just do it. What is the worst that can happen? Inaction is giving into or giving counsel to your fears.
Fear is a natural responsive emotion, just like "stress". Fear, like stress, is not important. What is important is how you respond to it.
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