Loosening the hold of fear and doubt…

Fear is only as deep as the mind allowsDo you lose your footing at times? Get derailed by fears? Get thrown off-centre by doubts that have wriggled their way in? Do you know how to ground yourself to feel solid again?

As I pursue my goal of becoming a writer, I find myself being bitten by the doubt/fear bug more often then I would like (smile). I realize this is part of the life of a writer, but thought I was prepared. What I am finding, is that when you pursue something you are passionate about – want more than anything – those doubt/fear bites can catch you off guard.

Allow me a brief moment to talk about writing to put this in context. Writing is a much harder discipline than I ever imagined. I read this the other day and thought it captured it perfectly:

A brain surgeon meets a writer at a cocktail party: “So you write?” says the brain surgeon. “Isn’t that interesting. I’ve always wanted to write. When I retire and have the time, I’m going to be a writer.” “What a coincidence,” says the writer, “because when I retire, I’m going to be a brain surgeon.”

On the road to becoming a writer, I will need to learn the components, structure, practice, techniques, the routine and the “superstructure” of writing as a regular practice (whether I am inspired to write or not). With enough hard work, perseverance, and all-out stubbornness, I can learn this.

But there is one thing that cannot be taught or learned: the core/essence in those with the gift to write. I know I have a spark of this creative essence, but is it enough? And if I do have enough, will I learn how to combat the doubts that are a writer’s constant companion? How will I bounce back from the inevitable “rejection” letters?

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” – William Shakespeare

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” – H. P. Lovecraft

Fears and doubts are a reality of life when you put yourself out on a limb, trying to reach a goal. How do we stop them from climbing into our heads and paralyzing us?

This morning, the fear-doubt-and-what-ifs were starting to gain traction in my head. Since I was thinking of writing a blog post about the power of visualization, I thought…Why not record a visualization exercise that can help me now? One that I can listen to later if I need to? Writing the script, recording the podcast (numerous times – smile), and listening to it was just the process I needed.

Below is the 8 minute visualization exercise called ”A Journey to the Knowing Place Within.” My hope is that it will help loosen the hold of your fears and doubts, as it has done for me. If it does, please come back and listen as often as you need to (I know I will be – smile).


If you are interested in other resources about dealing with fears/doubts of the unknown:

  • LaRae Quy has written an article called .
  • Advanced Life Skills has a guest post by Dr. Annette Colby called .
  • Brian Kim has an article called , where he uses fog to symbolize the concept of the unknown. He carries the analogy quite well.
  • has a comprehensive review of the book .

Given my earlier reference to writing, I could not resist ending with the Bene Gesserit’s Littany against Fear from the book  (by Frank Hubert):

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Anything you would like to add? Please feel free to leave a comment to start a discussion.

2 Responses to “Loosening the hold of fear and doubt…”

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  1. Kim says:

    Ah, Diane. You’ve hit upon one of my life’s challenges: doubt. It’s subtle, but when I am living with honest awareness, I see how prevalent (and debilitating) it can be for me. There are two things I try to recall when I notice this: 1) “A feeling of discord can only be caused by a prior thought” – Stephen Mitchell (from the Tao De Ching) and 2) from “The Work” taught by Byron Katie, I ask myself “Can I be 100% certain this (my thought) is really true?”. Thank you for sharing your story and your personal thoughts. PS. Thanks for the visualization exercise as well :)

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