Fear of the consequences of following our heart. Fear of bankruptcy, fear of poverty, fear of insolvency. Fear of groveling when we try to make it on our own, and of groveling when we give up and come crawling back to where we started. Fear of being selfish, of being rotten wives or disloyal husbands; fear of failing to support our families, of sacrificing their dreams for ours. Fear of betraying our race, our ‘hood, our homies. Fear of failure. Fear of being ridiculous. Fear of throwing away education, the training, the preparation that those we love have sacrificed so much for, that we ourselves have worked our butts off for. Fear of launching off into the void, of hurtling too far out there; fear of passing some point of no return, beyond which we can recant, cannot reverse, cannot rescind, but must live with this cocked-up choice for the rest of our lives. Fear of madness. Fear of insanity. Fear of death.
These are serious fears. But they’re not real fear. Not the Master Fear, the Mother of all Fears that’s so close to us that even when we verbalize it we don’t believe it.
Fear That We Will Succeed.
That we can access the powers we sense in our hearts we truly are.
This is the most terrifying prospect a human being can face, because it ejects him at one go (he imagines) from all the tribal inclusions his psyche is wired for and has been for fifty million years.
We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know. We pass through a membrane. We become monsters and monstrous.
We know that if we embrace our ideas, we must prove worthy of them. And that scares the hell out of us. What will become of us? Will we lose our friends and family, who will no longer recognize us. We will wind up alone, in the cold void of starry space, with nothing and no one to hold on to.
Of course this is exactly what happens. But here’s the trick. We wind up in space, but not alone. instead we are tapped into an unquenchable, undepletable, inexhaustible source of wisdom, consciousness, companionship. Yea, we lose friends. But we find friends too, in placed we never thought to look. And they’re better friends, truer friends. And we’re better and truer to them.
Do you believe me?
– By Steven Pressfield in his Best-Selling book The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Creative Battles