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has made me change my mind.
Because this is the post I was going to write, then decided not to write, but am now writing.
Because of him.
Or, rather, because of his book—The War of Art—but, more specifically, because of what he wrote in that book.
On pages 142, 143, and 144.
But, before I get into this, I need to lay the background:
You see, I’m kinda-sorta addicted to self-help books. I have a kinda-sorta love-hate relationship with them.
The pattern goes something like this:
I do this for, oh, I dunno, 6 months or so. Until I’ve read a sh*tload of books. And until I’ve tied myself into one big Gordian Knot obsessing over my shortcomings and how to fix them.
Then I get frustrated. And then I get mad. (Not mad in a hatter way of course but, you know, mad. Angry. Irritated. Piss-o-Rama’d.)
I rail at the walls. The plants. The sky. The weather. My state of dress.
I tell myself, “No more f**king self-help books!” And I seriously contemplate trashing all the ones I own.
But I don’t.
I just coast for 6 more months. Until time lulls me back into my stupor of discontent.
And then I start again. I hear about a book….
And this continues on. And on.
And, admittedly, I have learned a great many things about myself in the process. And I’ve read much that I can relate to on a very deep level.
But there is always this one thing that many of these books mention that I have never been able to wrap my mind around:
FEAR of SUCCESS.
I’ve always read that phrase and thought, “Huh? No. No. That’s not the case. How could that be the case? I don’t feel that.” It’s just never really resonated with me.
So much so, that I KNEW what Mr. Pressfield was leading up to when he started talking about the Real Fear, the Master Fear, the MOTHER OF ALL FEARS:
The FEAR of SUCCESS.
I knew that’s what it was going to say before I even saw the words on the page.
And how did I know this?
Because a gift was sent to me about a month ago that taught me all about this fear.
Something happened that made me realize that, oh yes, I CAN relate to this fear. That I have it. (In spades, if you please.) And that it has been holding me back for a long time now.
Yes. Something happened.
Ok, this is what happened:
That’s right. The Communicatrix commented on my blog.
How innocuous is that? Hm? Quite. But nonetheless it sent me on ye ol’ loop-the-loop didn’t it?
After all, there I was happily building my little sandcastles in what I thought was my own little anonymous corner of the internet-sandbox, safely tucked away amongst trillions of websites, hidden from all but a few friends and acquaintances when …
BAM! There it was: a comment from a serious blogger.
A respected blogger. A real writer. And a seriously funny person.
Whom I have never actually met.
And there I was, unsuspecting me, unexpectedly sucked into the web vortex. Caught blinking in the bright light. As though one of the big players in the sandbox (the ones out in the very middle busying themselves building SAND CITIES and SAND EMPIRES) just happened to glance over her shoulder at my little corner and go, “Oh, hey. Nice castle.”
And, you know, I nodded. I smiled. Heh-heh. I calmly responded to the comment (yes, we’re off the sandbox analogy now):
And then … I PANICKED:
“OMG and Holy sh*t! … people actually read this thing? … really talented people in far off places actually read this thing? What the hell do I do now? Should I write more often? What if there are others OUT THERE that are actually reading this … I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I AM DOING!! I need to be funnier … I’m not funny … Oh God … I’m going to die …”
And then I calm down, I get a grasp on myself, and I realize that what I am experiencing is a fear of success.
Yes. And it’s really quite scary. Hell, just the idea—the merest possibility—of success is scary.
I mean, I went and put myself out there, and someone responded. Whoa. Someone new. Someone outside my family. Or my circle of friends. Someone I’ve never seen face to face. Someone not on my facebook friends list.
That is the scary of the scary.
Because if I’m successful—if a whole bunch of people out there start reading my blog—then it means I’m accountable. I now have to put my money where my mouth is and, you know, hang out in the bright light with all my ideals. Watched.
My heart is in my mouth just thinking about it.
And maybe that won’t happen. Maybe I’ll just continue messing around in my little corner of the sandbox in peaceful obscurity.
Either way, it doesn’t really matter.
All that matters is that I punched through something here. I learned a valuable lesson about myself. A bogeyman has been dragged out of the shadows and had his mask ripped off so that I can get a better look at him. And now I have a better idea of what I’m up against.
And all because CW decided to leave a comment on my blog. Yay!
And, as my incredibly wise friend in San Diego told me, this is what flow feels like.
All I need to do is go with it. My action—my commitment—is attracting certain people and situations into my life. And, just maybe, as I already mentioned in a previous post, the universe is lining up for me. And I should expect more of this.
But I think this is a pretty big break-through for me as it is.
A pretty big break-through that I didn’t want to write about.
Because I was, uh, worried that CW would read this (again) and, you know, think I was some kind of crazy-assed hero-worshipper … or cyber stalker … or pathetic bumpkin with nothing else to do but link my silly little dinghy of a blog to her big stylin’ cruise ship, like, a BAZILLION times ….
And that just wouldn’t be cool.
So, no. Wasn’t going to write this post.
But then, along comes The War of Art.
I stay up late reading it, and, when I’m finished, I know that I have to write this post.
I know that I have to find the courage to share this.
That I can’t be scared of being authentic. (You’ll find that bit on page 152).
So I do. And I did.
And now it’s done. And I feel better. Because I followed my heart and put myself out there. Again.
And, hey, I didn’t die. (And I was so sure I was going to.)
So, if by chance you’re reading this CW, thanks again for dropping by and shaking up the place for awhile.
It was really cool.
But now I have to get back to my work. So I’m heading back to my corner of the sandbox to continue building my castle.