For those of you who haven’t heard it, there is a great podcast called Cracking Creativity. I’ve seen it shared several times on Facebook recently and decided to listen. There are many useful tips for all creative types in this podcast, and there was a line from one of the episodes that caught my attention.
“Fear is excitement without the breathing.”
When I heard this, I had to stop and listen again.
I realized that much of my fear is this very thing… I’m excited, but also scared. Afraid of the unknown, or trying something new. That fear causes me to freeze, then I stop breathing. It’s pretty straight forward.
I find this useful because it’s made me aware that I have two different types of fear.
The first is a lot more obvious, and while breathing helps calm the fear, there is no excitement at all. This is the fear that warns me to be careful. Cautions of dangers lurking ahead, like a repeat of abuse. This fear is debilitating, and I often confuse it with my other fear.
The second type of fear I feel has to do with being nervous. There isn’t a real danger, though my body responds as though there is. This type of fear isn’t debilitating. This is the kind of fear I can easily get over just by being present and breathing. By reminding myself that I ‘want’ whatever is causing me fear. Sometimes it can be tied to my childhood, and therefore I need to work through things in order to overcome the feeling so I can have what I want, but the key difference here is ‘want’.
When I want something, the fear is excitement fear. The root may be tied to the past, but the present is full of excitement.
The difference between these two feelings really is the breathing. Every time I’ve felt that, “I’m so excited for this, but terrified too!” fear, I never stop breathing. It may slow, but I don’t hold my breath.
Sometimes I get really excited until it comes time for something to happen, then I feel fear. And that can make me freeze for a short time. But the fact remains, when I want something bad enough, excitement overrides the freeze.
I’m going to run a test based on what I heard, then observed in myself. I’m going to see what happens if I pay closer attention to my breath, if I can move some of my freezing fear to excitement. This won’t work—obviously—in being afraid to run into abusive assholes, because there will NEVER be excitement over that, but it can work when it’s something I want to accomplish, or try, or experience. I have to be okay with breathing through the fear until the excitement returns.
More on this as I can put this new understanding to use, but I suspect this is going to shift many things for me!