Mind Map of Fear & Anxiety

Ok, so I thought the most difficult thing I have done thus far, was to decide to leave the comfort and security of a good career in nursing. The excitement of finding and following my “thing” truly gave me purpose. Then it came time to create a website and blog…..

Not too difficult right? Well…. there is that bit of a learning curve and challenge indeed. But, with much help from my mentor and researching this and that about creating a website and blog, it was another step toward my dream. However, what I did not count on, was the fear factor that came with being out in the world for all to see! I mean it is both the most fantastic and most intimidating thing to do with one’s creative work. 

Fear is an amazingly powerful phenomenon. The good fear keeps you from causing detrimental harm to yourself. Like, staying away from poisonous spiders or snakes, hiring a reputable and trusted guide to teach you how to rock climb safely, or doing your first skydive jump with an experienced instructor. This type of inherent fear keeps you relatively safe, it’s the fight or flight that is innate in all of us.

The bad fear can deter forward motion, block creativity, and clutter one’s intention.  Since the inception of this venture, weeks had passed with me circling around this website project. Life and its obstacles scattered their presence along my path and ultimately I acknowledged that it is this bad fear that has kept me paralyzed and stuck in the process of building the website rather than its implementation.

Ugh! How do I snap out of this self defeating mode????

Well, I was on one of my 5 mile runs one day, listening to a podcast for creatives. Not only was that the best run of the week, but I gleaned some invaluable tools to begin to work with this fear. I went home and made this mind map of my fear and anxiety surrounding the launching of the project. Somehow, writing my thoughts and feelings helped with the recognition and release of what was really going on and why there was such delay. That is, the fear of being exposed for all to see.

What a great exercise! Mind mapping is a great way to put thoughts and feelings down on paper and giving your head a much needed respite from such a heavy load. This technique also allows you to visualize what those fears are and gives you the opportunity to weigh whether you can live with the consequences of taking action despite your fears. In other words, are these fears keeping you stuck and not allowing you to realize your dream? 

Often times it is very difficult to get out of your head and although we may feel like we are taking steps to move forward, what we are doing instead is taking the scenic route to our goal. And really, now thinking about it, maybe this fear is actually alerting us that we are on the right path. The stakes are high and it is determination and the belief in ourselves that will get us to where we want to be. It is also something we as creatives will probably always have to deal with because once one goal is reached and we set out for another, that fear will be there once again inviting us to work through the roadblocks.

Finding a way to get real with yourself whether that is listening to a podcast, reading an inspirational book/poem, meditating, or listening to a friend or mentor. Whatever it takes to get you to realize that the right time to go live with your goal or pursuit is now. The only way you are going to be ready is by doing the act itself. Once you start and continue to build on that first step of action, then the rest will begin to fall in place. 

What are your strategies to escape the grips of fear? Let us brainstorm together!