Surprising conversation with my new fear

Kind of a sequel from yesterday’s post.

So I’m not moving forward with what I wanted to move forward with today.

I’m pausing.

Picking up my shovel and digging into the ground to see if I can find the root of this fear that is beginning to grow.

And here it is.

Me: Well hello little fear.  You are really little!

Fear: I am kind of just a baby.  But I still have some pretty big and serious complaints so please take me seriously.

Me: Sure thing!  What are your big and serious complaints?

Fear: It seems like you are ignoring the very real possibility that everything that has gone well for you has been a fluke.  And so, moving forwards on the assumption that you built all of this and that you can continue to build it is pretty dangerous.  So you’re going to have to stop.  Really what you need now is to start looking for a job.  Right now.  Then you’ll get out of this whole mess ahead of the game!

Me: OK.  I hear that.  That brings up 2 questions for me: do you really think I’m in a mess and what game is it that I should be playing?   Lets start with the mess.

Fear: You’re not doing what people are supposed to do!  No one can relate to you.  Even those poor misguided souls who want to do what you do – they can’t really relate to where you are.  You’re off on this weird path that no one else is on.  This is definitely a mess.

Me:  I can see how it looks like a mess, when you put it that way.

Fear: It is a mess!

Me: See, I think the rest of the world is kind of a mess, too.  Most of those people out there, who are doing what they are supposed to do – they don’t seem happy to me.

Fear: Happy?  Not relevant.

Me: Oh.  So what is relevant?

Fear: SAFE.

Me: Ah.

Fear: I know what you’re thinking!  You’re thinking about how lately you have been feeling really safe and secure and settled in your new life.  But that’s why I started growing!  Because I have to tell you!  You are wrong!

Me: So me feeling safe here makes you come to life.

Fear: I had no choice!  I have to warn you!  Quick let’s get out of this mess!

Me:  OK back to the other question – what game are you trying to get ahead in?

Fear: The game everyone else is playing.  The game about accumulating money and most of all – fitting in with the other people.  I know you do well at accumulating money that’s not actually the part I am worried about here.  You really suck at the part about fitting in with other people!  BUT the thing about being ahead is that those people could relate to you having left your job to do this weird thing ONLY IF IT WAS CLEAR THAT IT WAS PROFITABLE AND TEMPORARY.

Me: Oh my.  So fitting in is what will make me safe?

Fear: Yes!  Please hurry!

Me: I’ve been thinking about that too.  I’ve been thinking about how once I’ve moved into the condo I can spend more time traveling and hanging out with the people I do fit in with.  Meeting the other people who are doing stuff like I am doing.  Don’t you think that will be fun?

Fear: That sounds awful.  Those people are spread out EVERYWHERE.

Me: But I want to go everywhere so that seems like a good thing.

Fear: Not a good thing. Not at all. That will only make you weirder.

Me: You are sure right in that I am off on my own path and a lot of people are bound to think my life is strange.  I wonder if you know why I’ve made the choices I’ve made?

Fear: Because you are misguided and naive.

Me: I thought it was because I am connected to my purpose and my creative dreams.

Fear: Those things are stupid.  You’re just showing how misguided and naive you are.

Me: Actually I really believe in these things.  And they mean more to me than fitting in does.  So you and I are going to have to make some compromises here if we’re going to be able to work together.

Fear: Work together?  No! That’s not what I am here for.  I am here to warn you and get you to do what you’re supposed to do.  That is my whole purpose.

Me: Are you sure?

Fear: What?

Me: Are you sure that’s your whole purpose?  Isn’t there more you want to do?

Fear: Maybe.  Actually that might be cool.  To do something I want to do.  Doing this is kind of annoying because you are so totally impossible to work with.

Me: I’m pretty easy to work with when I’m not being asked to betray myself.

Fear: So you really believe that?  Fitting in and doing what people are supposed to do would be betraying yourself?

Me: Absolutely.

Fear: I guess that’s what a lot of artists think.

Me: It seems that way.

Fear: And that’s why a lot of artists move to where other artists are.  So they can have somewhere to fit in.

Me: I guess.

Fear: I really want you to fit in better.  I think that’s my purpose.  Maybe not fitting in but building community.

Me: I’d sure be open to you helping me with that.

Fear: Hey! Now I remember. Some of the times when you’ve had the strongest community around you were not necessarily the times when you were doing the best job at fitting in.

Me: Right.  Maybe we don’t need to associate those two things.

Fear: Well it would be easier if we did.  If you could just fit in, people would like you, you’d be accepted and everything would be ok.

Me: But I really can’t.  You said it yourself – I suck at fitting in.  I do.  I have to be true to me.  I have to live in alignment with what’s in my heart.  So tell me this.  What do you think would happen if I never fit in?  If I never had a community?  If no one liked or accepted me?

Fear: It would kind of be just like it is right now!

Me: How so? I’m not unhappy with what I’ve got now so I need some help to understand what you mean.

Fear:  Your relationships are precarious.  People relate to you less and less.  Everything is on the verge of falling apart.

Me: OK I see. And what if everything did fall apart?

Fear: We’d be all alone.

Me: Yes. And what if?

Fear: I guess we could stop wondering/worrying about what other people think?

Me: So that doesn’t sound so bad.

Fear: No.  I mean it would be evidence that no one likes you, but there wouldn’t be anyone there to see that no one likes you so it probably wouldn’t matter.  I know you’re fine on your own.

Me: So this is all about what other people think.

Fear: Of course!

Me: Well I just can’t take all of that into account.

Fear: I guess not.

Me: So your purpose really isn’t about community then either, is it?

Fear: I guess not. I’m kind of confused now.  It’s almost like I am trying to protect you from something that isn’t a real problem.

Me: Well that’s what I thought was happening.

Getting to this point was kind of exhausting so that’s where I took a nap.

I woke up from my nap and the fear had changed.

It was about money.

Which made me completely annoyed.

Me: Umm hello?  I’ve kept my books up to date, can you see how there is nothing to worry about?

Fear: (totally anxious, wringing hands) But you don’t have a JOB!  Who knows what will happen next?

And I just walked away.

It’s only helpful to talk to my fears if I can be compassionate with them.  Otherwise it turns into a war and I don’t want a war happening inside of me.

And I have no compassion for this one right now.  All I have for it are annoyance and frustration.

The thing is I am done with that fear.


I have no patience for it and I have no time for it.  The facts show there is no reason for it.

And yet it persists.

Because it’s a fear.  And fears aren’t reasonable.  They don’t care about facts.

And they don’t go away just because we are ready for them to be gone!


Me: OK.  (Heavy sigh) What can I give you that will make you feel better right now?

Fear: Chocolate cake?

Me: Done.  Here you go.  Anything else?

Fear: Some time to just chill out?

Me: Really?  But I mean, ugh.  Shouldn’t you want me to work harder to make sure money keeps coming in?

Fear: I want what I want.  I want to just chill out.  Chocolate cake and tea and a movie.  A bubble bath.  Maybe a trip to the park tomorrow?

Me: This makes no sense but sure.  You can have all of that.

Fear: What about ice cream instead of cake?  Or ice cream with cake?

Me: You can have whatever you want if you will just be quiet and leave me alone.  But I don’t understand why you aren’t telling me to work harder or go look for a job or something.

Fear: You asked What Do I Want? I want to be able to relax.

Me: Fair enough.  Me too.  Let’s go get some cake.

So I wrote this post yesterday and then didn’t want to publish it right away.

So now it’s Tuesday morning, 9:12 am.  And I’ve already finished all of the work I had to do on next week’s Creative Journal Magic e-Course material.

I am super thrilled with the edits I made and am more in love with this course than ever. 

(And I want to say: Seriously! Take this Course! It’s amazing! Who can’t use more magic in their life?)

It’s 9:12 am.  On Tuesday.  Which means I still have lots of time this week for that other project :)  Even though I spent yesterday pausing and being with my fear, like my wisest self asked me to.

Spending yesterday with my fear meant that today, instead of little fear growing beneath the surface – there is openess.

Space for possiblity.

Space for inspiration.

Space for flow.

Space for magic.

Space for me to get my work done by 9:12 am.

I’m writing this here to remind myself: LISTEN TO THAT WISE VOICE.

Taking the time to spend the time with your fear always moves you forward faster than pushing the fear away or pretending it’s not there or avoiding it.

There aren’t a lot of “alwayses” in the world of creative magic.

But this is one.  Always.  This is always true.

And yet I always want it not to be true.

I always resist it.

I would always rather keep working on my projects, than keep working with my fears.


  1. Square-Peg Karen on June 28, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Oh, there are 407 things here I’d like to respond to – but I’ll behave and stick to a couple – lol.

    Taking time with to BE with your fear, to listen to it (him/her?) and know that there’s a purpose behind what it’s saying (wow, am I having trouble calling Fear “it” – feel like Martin Buber is breathing down my neck – grin) – that’s SO wise – it’s the only true way to work with fear (I mean, the only way that WORKS!).

    All the talk about fitting in had me smiling – and I outright giggled over this: “You said it yourself – I suck at fitting in. I do. I have to be true to me.”
    So true (for all of us mindful nonconformists — or, as I like to say – Square-Pegs) & such a DEEP thing (at least for me) – the feeling that I HAVE to be true to me; that faking it, pretend fitting in is not an option — the desire for a community of folks with that same commitment to self – thanks for the awesome vulnerability here!!

  2. Christine (Blisschick) Reed on June 28, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I think you were inside my head! ;)

    Seriously, I have finally decided that Fear is my GUIDE. Where there is fear, GO! Just walk right over it, through it, whatever it takes and there is usually this Mountain of Awesome right on the other side of that fear…or wrapped up inside it.

    Yesterday, I was feeling SUPER HAPPY. This is becoming more and more my norm, which is a miracle considering the depression etc. that I have had to overcome to get here, but anyway, SUPER HAPPY.

    Then BAM! Fear! Oh, this happy is not real!

    But the core fear? If I am SUPER HAPPY then I will not notice the crap accumulating out to the right over there; I will not notice the BAD THING as it approaches.

    For me, the fear is that being happy is delusional. This is understandable considering where I come from. But the Fear is what is really delusional.

    Besides, WHO CARES if I don’t see the bad as it approaches. That just means there is less time for teeth chattering!

  3. Lee Ann Monat on June 28, 2011 at 10:40 am

    *I* relate to you! XOXO. I am so feeling this right now. I came to the conclusion…after freaking out about the whole “no job+no income” idea…to just focus on the end result…the volunteering and trust that everything will fall where it must to help me achieve that first step into my new life. There is time, and everything else has been falling into place.

    I still have serious freak-out moments, but I keep trying to come back to trust and the present moment.

  4. Brandy on June 29, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Oh Andrea – I love reading your inner dialogues! The way you work through your thoughts and feelings is really inspiring. Also, I can’t wait to hear your future big thing!

  5. Molli Gould on June 29, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Thanks for your insight Andrea! I’d like to be with my fears a little more, perhaps try this conversation idea. Actually I tried this idea once and we were at war, it got all Jerry Springer and we were cussing and throwing chairs–not pretty. I’d like to try and have a more compassionate conversation this time:)

  6. […] Your Warrior Spirit This post and the next are inspired by Andrea over at ABC Creativity and her recent post about fear. I have been experiencing, directly, much of what she illustrates, and now, because of her, I can […]

  7. […] am totally in love with this wise and witty conversation between Andrea and her fear, over at ABC Creativity. Yes, she talks to her fear – and it’s […]

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