Strapping Fear in the Car Seat

In one of my first newsletters I shared about my breakdown on the blue carpet during my first month in Virginia. It was such a glamorous moment. So I’m proud to announce I’ve had another one. : )-

This round, it was about time, money, business ideas, and all the things I ‘should’ be accomplishing as I sit in my chair in Studio G (our ‘Garage’ office that we renovated and is nearing the finish line.)

Fear about what to put my energy towards, when will I know it is right, if I should proceed, why is it taking so long, if it’s really what I am meant to be doing right now…. And in my experience when I have these feelings it stifles my creativity, conveniently giving me another fear – I am not creative anymore!

FEAR is always there. With any dreams. With any self discovery. And especially with any changes we hope to make – actually even sometimes with only the thought of change. It is always THERE.

After my breakdown, it was almost laughable how upbeat my weekend was. A new opportunity seemed to be emerging and conversations with brand new people seemed to be giving me more inspiration. A great reminder that usually I like to breakdown before my breakthroughs…

Perhaps more importantly, however, was that I remembered my favorite analogy about FEAR. It was in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic  and it forever changed how I thought about fear. I had been letting it ‘drive’ lately and that needed to stop.

She proposes we re-frame our perspective on fears, and stop worrying about eradicating them, or choosing routes in our life that minimize them. Give up trying to stamp it out. Instead, realize it will always be around, but will NOT be in charge.

“There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this … You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote.”

Fear will not, in essence, be allowed to be making the decision, or really even weighing in.

The analogy went on and on, in her book and in my mind….

Fear can be in the car, but it cannot pick the radio station, order from the drive through window, decide when it’s best to pull over and most certainly cannot be in charge of the GPS!

I love this. Changes that we contemplate, dreams we’d like to test out, even conversations we need to have can all have an element of fear. And that’s ok. But that doesn’t get to factor into the decision making.

Being in downtown Chicago I never drove very much. Mostly only when I headed up to Michigan and Toby and I would take a spin touring our favorite homes. Now that I’m in Virginia I’m driving more than ever. So the car analogy is perfect and often times there are two tinies in the back. I picture fear like a little one strapped into a car seat for their own safety. We aren’t moving until you are clicked in, you are welcome to sing along to the radio but please give me your Goldfish bag when you are done.

So I plan to strap my FEAR in the car seat this week and hope you’ll do the same!