May is not the best time to be in Breckenridge. It’s often still cold and snowing, and by May 1, I’m typically over it. Businesses close and people leave town.
The best part of May in the mountains are the baby foxes. They are ADORABLE! I can often be found roaming around town stopping by the variety of fox dens, hoping to discover the kits outside scampering, jumping, and taunting each other. They exude pure curiosity and playfulness.
Luckily for me, my “hubs” had a conference in Florida and so I chose to be a stowaway for a quickie trip to get out of the snain (snow + rain), catch up on my vitamin D, work a little bit, and get some R&R at the pool.
I grabbed Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic from the library and off we went. It’s about 80 degrees; there’s a lovely breeze, and I’ve traded out baby foxes for little lizards darting too and fro.
I started the book. The Eat, Pray, Love author asks us to find the courage to live creatively, by “living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.” How can we be a bit more like the foxes?
The below excerpt remind us of all of the ways our fears can get in our own way. Which of these resonate for you?
Focus on the destination instead of what is holding you back.
“Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid to live a more creative life:
You’re afraid you have no talent.
You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored.
You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it.
You’re afraid somebody else already did it better.
You’re afraid everybody else already did it better.
You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark.
You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously.
You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life.
You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing.
You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money.
You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline.
You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration.
You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree.
You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.)
You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist.
You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal.
You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud.
You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons.
You’re afraid your best work is behind you.
You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with.
You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back.
You’re afraid you’re too old to start.
You’re afraid you’re too young to start.
You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again.
You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying?
You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder.
Plant the seed and focus on the blossom.
Had enough? Me too. Cast aside your fears, your doubts, your insecurities, and focus on the end game. What you can accomplish? The only thing standing in between you and what you want to be…is you.
It’s springtime (at least in most places in the United States). How is your fear limiting how you can blossom? “Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you? . . . The hunt to uncover those jewels — that’s creative living.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear