Today I was reading Tess Marshall’s post on zenhabits regarding fear – Joyfear actually, a term first coined by Leo Babauta, one of the world’s leading bloggers. Joyfear is that powerful combination of joy and fear which is often common during pivotal moments in our lives. Tess says:
Make the decision to succeed. Once you decide on success you rarely allow doubt to enter your mind. Your persistence, dedication, and resilience are strengthened. You free yourself to do the uncommon and the impossible.
The one thing that divides successful individuals from ones that have not yet achieved, is fear. It’s easy to give in to it, to say I can’t, shouldn’t, won’t….
If you long to be a successful writer but find yourself stepping on your own toes with myriad “logical” reasons why you are stuck where you are, then here are some quick tips for using writing as a way of moving into the space of Joyfear so you can create the habit of becoming excited when faced with this powerful beacon because it will absolutely guide you toward success.
Writing Tips for Embracing Joyfear
- Understand which fears are good for you and which are holding you back – (stepping away from moving truck, good fear; not starting your blog because you might be criticized, limiting fear.) Make a quick list of your top 3 limiting fears and 1 thing you can do to move closer into each of those fears instead of avoiding them.
- Commit to doing one of those things this week.
- Now make a list of what positive things could come your way if you didn’t let limiting fear stop you.
- Write a short song/dittie in tribute to a particular fear then sing your fear away.
- Take a few moments to think about how you think about fear. Your inner dialogue is powerful and if you change what you say to yourself inside, you can change what you do on the outside.Write down what you say to yourself that keeps you from doing. Now write down something you could say to yourself that would help propel you forward and keep it with you. Next time fear stops you, pull it out and read it – and try and follow your own words of wisdom.
- Ask yourself a simple question, “is my fear reasonable?” If the answer is no then it’s time to take action. Keep a journal on all the unreasonable fears you have. Speak to your fears as if they were actual people and then explain why you are not going to listen to them anymore.
- Think of the well known writer Frank Herbert’s quote: “Face your fears or they will climb over your back.”
- If you’re really stuck, help someone else by writing them a letter or email that will help them feel happy or great or appreciated.
- The Universe truly rewards action and most often the support will come only after you leap off the cliff. The joy will come as you experience the fall and good things happen. The more often you live this the more you’ll know it’s true and the easier the leaping will become.Write a story about someone who falls of a cliff, literally or figuratively, and then lives in great joy.
- Begin an ongoing list of all the things you appreciate about yourself. Self-appreciation will lend you strength and confidence.
Leo Babauta says of Joyfear:
Joyfear is a mixture of intense joy and intense fear into one ball of powerful emotions that both lift me up and make me see things clearly when I hadn’t before. Having only joy is great. Having only fear sucks. But having both … that’s life-defining. Do not shy away from Joyfear. Seek it out. Recognize it when you happen upon it. Joyfear will change your life, and you’ll never forget the moment you find it.
As a writer you have the capacity to use your skills to help you burst through your limitations and walk into the fireball of joyfear. So why not go for it? The rest, now, is up to you.
Are creative fears slowing you down? Get this free creativity ebook to help you bust your fear apart.