Overcoming Fear In Creativity
This week, my daughter, Heidi Cox is guest posting. She's an actress and produces the web series, Stalking LeVar.
A little over a week ago, I attended San Diego Comic Con International for the third year in a row. Last year, I participated on a panel about women who produce their own content. My mother, whom you all know, attended with me.
This year a little negative voice in my head plagued me as I participated in various events. You know the one. It tells you:
“You’ll never make it.”
“What are you doing here?”
“You’re not enough.”
“You’re fooling everyone.”
Blah. Blah. Blah.
My body reacted, angst building in my chest, a fist squeezing, pressing down on me, my breathing becoming difficult. I hadn’t realized until that weekend how insistent the voice had gotten or how much I allowed it to control me.
The definition of fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc.
The voice I heard reacted to my fear of rejection and abandonment, aka not being “enough.”
Enough of what?
What does that even mean? Enough?
The closer I got to realizing some of my dreams, the louder the voice got. I self-sabotaged because achieving success terrified me! Why? I hold myself to a higher standard, and that turns the voice into Chatty McChatterson. That, my friends, leads to low self-worth and confidence.
This whole time I walked around feeling uncomfortable and anxious. Then, I attended a panel that a friend of mine was on. He is on the cast of “The Expanse,” a SyFy network show premiering in December. I felt proud of him, and the voice used his success to try and sink me into despair: I was not far enough along in my career; I should give up.
In that moment, I imagined myself stomping on the voice like a little ember and saying something a tad more colorful but to the effect of “Shhhh!!!”
Guess what? The voice shut up for a few minutes. Then it started again, and I told it to be quiet over and over again. A peace resonated within me. The tightness in my chest disappeared. I breathed easier.
Something about seeing my friend’s success inspired me to forget about the fear. It is scary, but what is more frightening is to not put myself out there at all.
I have been listening to my fears for years! And the cool/scary thing is my dreams seem a little more real with every tiny step I make.
|Filming Episode 4 of Season 1|
Now, I see fear as a cue--this is something I should do because it is frightening. It’s potential for growth…potential energy. (See what I did there?)
Our first season of Stalking LeVar was completed for less than $500 which is unheard of in the industry. I am so proud of the quality we accomplished and the support we received, but we have bigger plans with more people and more complex plot lines and that is…wait for it…scary.
We are trying to raise money so we can make a difference with this show. We want it to mean something. We want to put ourselves out there.
And my fear tries to overwhelm me every day.
But, I am learning to allow it to exist without ruling my actions. Fear can be very good, but when it comes to self-worth, fear is useless. When creating and being expressive, it’s important to let go of what may stop you. Even if no one cares about what you are doing, YOU still care. And honestly, that is all that matters.
YOU are the only person worth impressing.
We have the luxury of making a decision to be creative. So quiet that voice and find a unique expressive outlet. You are good enough.
Thank you to my mother for asking me to share.
Of course, I'm very proud of Heidi and everything she's accomplished. Don't let her little voice fool you. She's done a lot over the years and has a lot to offer. They are trying to meet $2000 raised by the end of this week, so jump over to the campaign and check it out. You might even get a character in the series named after you!
Please check out Heidi's web series, and of course, share this with your friends.
Twitter: @DweebDarlings and @lilywyte