Does Fear Trap You from Pursuing Your Dreams?

Two years ago my husband asked me to join him for a two-day guided mule ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. At first, I hesitated to give him an answer. I have no riding skills and I’m fearful of heights. His idea seemed out of the question.

Even so, I began to entertain the thought. I’ve always wanted the experience of being inside the canyon instead of standing at the rim, so I agreed to go. Once he made our reservations and flight arrangements, there was no turning back. In the meantime, I set my heart on trying to think positive thoughts about what might await us.

Have you ever allowed fear to keep you from following your dream? A few weeks ago one of my followers commented she wants to write more, but is fearful her work will be rejected by others. She avoids spending time writing by busying herself with other activities until she no longer has time available. Her fear has become a source of self-protection.

I appreciated her honesty. Good for you, the first step to overcoming fear is acknowledging it.

Author Tosca Lee said something I will never forget. “Write like no one will see this.” Writing like no one will see it chases fear away and permits us to create. We need to banish the self-critic in order to let our thoughts flow onto the paper. Until we engage in our art, we seldom move forward.

It’s true that not all of our creative works are worthy of publication. Rejection goes with the territory, whether it be from an editor, a friend, or a spouse. My husband is my sounding board. Sometimes he proofs my work and says, “I’m not getting this.” Then I know I haven’t made myself clear. Time for another revision. Rejection can make us better writers.

Accept the reality there are people who can write better than you. Comparing ourselves to others chokes our creativity. Our current culture demands instant success. But how do people achieve success? First, they decide to start. Then they decide to continue. Most marathon runners begin by competing in a 5K. Slowly, they continue to build their stamina by participating in longer races.

We can receive encouragement from Scripture when facing fearful situations. One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 29:25. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”

Just like a snare traps a small animal, fear traps us from pursuing our dreams. Pray for courage to throw off fear and trust God to take you where He wants you to go.

When I descended into the Grand Canyon, I didn’t look to the right or left of the trail. I kept my focus straight ahead on Olga, my mule. Olga, you know the way. You’ve traveled this path many times. As Olga continued to steadily plod along, I began to relax and enjoy the beautiful landscape of the canyon. For more details about the trip, see my previous post entitled, Trust and Obey.

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Ask yourself what matters. Are you content to stay in your comfort zone? Is it time to stop viewing the canyon from the rim?

 

 

Opening the Door of the Imagination

Have you ever wondered what the door to your imagination might look like? If I could create such a door, it would be similar to the one in my featured image. This is the door to creativity, a place for writers and painters. Inside is a library of books, works of art, and maybe even the internet!

Where do you receive inspiration? Many people find it in nature, listening to music, or spending time with God in prayer. If you’re a creative person you know the importance of taking time to breathe in. By taking time to inhale the creativity around us, we become more creative.

Author, E.M. Forster wrote, “In the creative state a man is taken out of himself. He lets down, as it were, a bucket into his subconscious, and draws up something that is normally beyond his reach. He mixes this thing with his normal experiences and out of the mixture he makes a work of art.”

So what keeps us from accessing these places beyond our reach? For some of us it’s the busyness of life. For many of us it’s fear. When we are unsure how the finished product will look, or how it might be received by others, we quit even before we begin. We never access the areas of the imagination beyond our reach.

Some people experience writer’s block. This might happen when we rely too much on ourselves for ideas. If we step back and take time to do something which inspires us, we can find new inspiration. A wonderful book to read on this subject is The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimer.

Where do you get creative ideas? In your sleep? In the shower? When you’re taking a walk? Sometimes when we allow our minds to relax fresh ideas come to the forefront of our brains. I love the “Aha” moment!

Writing is not just about hitting the keys. It means taking time to recharge and reenergize ourselves. It means taking time to play and imagine like we did as children. Make a bucket list of places you might go to for inspiration. You don’t need to travel far. Visit a local garden or gallery.

The door in my feature image was created by Colin Woley. It’s part of the Enchanted Fairy Door Exhibit at Leu Gardens in Orlando. This whimsical exhibit will delight your imagination. The tiny doors are placed in various locations throughout the fifty-acre garden. The exhibit is on display until September 23, 2018.