Fear is a funny thing. It can cripple you, yet it can make you do a better job. We all feel fear. Fear of illness, fear of losing someone or not being loved, fear of taking that first step toward doing something you always wanted to do, but...well...you are afraid you aren't good enough.
This week is a week of fear for me. Since having had breast cancer, I have mammograms every 6 months for awhile. In addition, I have a gamma x-ray coming up this week. Today was the mammogram, Thursday the gamma.
Just when one forgets they had cancer, an appointment reminds them.
I tried to pretend these appointments this week did not bother me. Still, inside, I was worried. What if they find it again? How will I go through more of that?
The same thing use to happen whenever I thought about writing a novel. What if I couldn't write a whole novel? What if I did and no one bought it? Worse yet, what if people bought it and hated it?
Same with painting. I was always convinced I was not "good enough", even though others in my life had repeatedly told me that I was. Finally, about 10 years ago, I picked a brush back up. I started doing something I should have always done. I painted.
I got breast cancer about 1 1/2 years ago, and that taught me that the time for anything a person really wants is now. Now is all you are guaranteed. So, once I got through the radiation, I started to write.
I write and I paint. Some days, I still feel fear. It does not matter how many people say they love my book. When someone says they didn't so much, I am afraid I wrote a bad book, after all. Then I swallow that fear and just let it be there. Why?
Because I have decided to live with fear when it comes. Trying to make it go away just makes it worse. So, I let the fear just be there. I don't dwell on it. I don't panic. I give it the finger and get on with what I love to do. Write. Paint. Enjoy friends and family. Enjoy my parrots.
My mammogram today came back fine. Everything is normal. I am still scared of Thursday. That's ok. I don't let it cripple me, but I don't deny that I feel afraid, either.
I have learned that some fear is good for us. Without fear, we become complacent. Asky any performer about fear. They will tell you that if you don't feel some fear before performing, you are going to perform flat. Fear motivates us to do better.
I have some book reivews coming up. I am a little afraid. I am completing book 2, and there is the fear that people will be disappointed. I am writing book 3, and I hear the voice of fear telling me that people will tire of my story. Too bad, I say. Check out my middle finger. I am not tired of my story, and so I am going to tell it. Even if, some days, I am afraid.