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Fear Is The Doorway To Great Work



By Mary Jane Walsh


We all know the fear potholes that can block us from doing really good work or taking risks that feel scary.


I used to experience this type of fear every time I sat down to write. I would plan the time, get excited, buy new flowers for my desk, and even schedule in creative and fun breaks.


And here is what would happen. I would write four sentences, then delete. Write two paragraphs, delete. 20 minutes gone by, and nothing.


This is a typical fear pothole, and it's something we all experience. Fear feels uncomfortable, scary, and anxiety-provoking. In order to take the next step, we have to learn to feel the fear and disregard it.


When I'm stuck in that fear pothole, my brain loves a distraction. That new favorite T.V. show, those new shoes I want, that Miki Agrawal book I can't put down… Any good distraction comes right to the forefront.


But when I'm in the flow, there is momentum, excitement, forgetting about the clock, an openness and level of surprise that welcomes magic.  Nothing feels more delicious than the feeling of concentration and steadied focus. This is the space of creative alignment.


These two states, fear and flow, are on opposite ends of the spectrum, and all writers / creators / progressive thinkers move within this pendulum trajecory at different times in their creative process. Some days are easy breezy, and others are slow, choppy, and awkward.


But how do we get from the stuck and wandering brain to the laser focused, invested, high energy, excited brain that spills words onto the page and slices through the fear?


I read the books of some of my favorite coaches, entrepreneurs and business owners, and lo and behold, each person expressed the same struggle throughout their careers. The fear, though present, becomes expected, as in "Of course I'm going to feel afraid. I'm taking this big-ass scary step forward in my business. So yes, of course."


That's right. The people who move beyond that fear everyday to have the success that have today decided to GET OVER IT.


That is what we have to do as well.


Right?! The fear is there, but we slay.  We learn and discover by doing. There will always be fear if we are pushing ourselves and moving forward into something new. 


Once we think, "Hey this step is a cinch. I know how to do this," then the fear shape shifts into the next thing.


Our brains like the familar landscape, the consistency, and the patterns. New patterns require more effort and energy, and even our brains are saying, "No. Stop. Go back."  But again, just another fear rut…


The trick is to keep going, to keep it fun, to keep opening up to your work, to keep growing, to keep allowing the fear, and to keep moving beyond it.


And as my coach said in a recent meeting, “Hard things are the path to greatness, and you can do hard things.”


And so can you.





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best life? Feeling stuck and ready to feel free? Do you want to feel more happy, fun, joy and love in your life? Want to feel and look your best???  Look here and sign up for one-on-one coaching at Mary Jane Walsh Thrive. Call (504) 252-0127.



Mary Jane Walsh Thrive offers one-on-one coaching to younger clientele from ages 12 – 18. We work on self-esteem, self-confidence, goal setting, organization, developing positive peer groups, happiness and feeling awesome about yourself!