Is Fear Keeping You Vanilla?

Today is day 25 in the 31 day writing challenge. One of the recent writing prompts was on fear.The Power of Conquering Fear. Conquer Fear to Attain Success and Achieve Your Goals.

My first post on this site was about fear.

I wrote it because I began this blog to overcome the fear of failure. I wanted to overcome the fear of trying something new.

I wanted to overcome the fear that life would go by as I sat in my comfortable box and I would never be stretched or challenged.

But in doing this 31 day challenge, a new fear whispers in my ear.

“Maybe you’re not cut out to be a writer.”

As I read updates from other writers in our group who pump out at least 500 words a day and often up to 1,500–I’m intimidated and impressed. Some say they’re done in as little as 15-30 minutes.

That’s not me. I sit and plod along. I’m slow at forming ideas. I think too much.

That’s when the fear and self-doubt creep in.

I doubt my ideas.

I question my ability.

I fear there’s something wrong with me. Other writers accomplish their dreams and I desire to follow, but fear says, “That’s not for you.

Okay, I tell myself. So you’re slow. So 500 words aren’t being spit out in 15 minutes. The short stories I have written took ‘forever’. I find it difficult to turn off the inner editor and free write.

I will keep writing. Writing is like a muscle, the more I use it the stronger it will get.

Some words are better than no words. The few words I write each day move me farther and farther away from zero in the word count. And the farther away from zero I get, the closer I get to being able to reach my goal.

There are two choices in dealing with fear:

1. Give into it and let it rule you.

2. Acknowledge that it’s there, but keep moving forward anyway.

If I give into it and stay where it’s comfortable, nothing will happen.

I like comfortable. It’s cozy, predictable, and safe. But I don’t like the end results of comfortable. Unmet goals. Drifting through life. Another year gone and nothing accomplished.

I think of the person who comes home everyday from work, plops in their comfy recliner for a night of TV. Hour after hour. Night after night. All those nights add up to years. Yeah, those evenings spent in the recliner were comfy.

Cozy.

Predictable.

Safe.

But along with comfy is a little blandness.

Vanilla.

Ordinary.

Average.

That’s what fear does. It keeps us vanilla. It keeps us from achieving our potential.

If I give in to the fear, the fear will control my action, or lack of action. If I believe that fear says I’m not a real writer, then I won’t write. I won’t take chances and I’ll end up sitting in my recliner, being comfy.

If I acknowledge the fear exists, but challenge it, I will write. I will try. Others may read my words and say I suck which will make fear say, “See, I told you so.”

But I’m willing to take the chance. Putting myself ‘out there’ does open me up to criticism, but that comes with the territory of challenging fear.

So fear, I know you’re there, but I won’t let you control my actions. In the end, I will win.

my 500

8 Responses to Is Fear Keeping You Vanilla?

  1. Another great post Yolanda. I feel the same way and I am inspired by your comment “Writing is like a muscle, the more I use it the stronger it will get.” You are absolutely correct. I finally realized I’m trying too hard with my blog. A blog is just a web journal. Speak from the heart every day. It does take practice to put it in writing and that’s exactly what you’re now doing. Don’t slow down!

    • yolandadeloach says:

      Thanks Brent! I will do my best to not slow down. I obviously write more during breaks from school and less during the semester, but as long as I’m moving forward I’m good.

  2. ihelpc.com says:

    Yolanda,
    I’m so proud of what you have accomplished with your blog! You are a tenacious goal setter as well! Congratulations! Which leads me to my story. I’m a blogger who can churn out 500 words a day (if I have the day off) and then edit on another day.
    My husband is a journalism major and has written weekly newspaper columns for years. He aims for 500 well written words a week. What a difference in writing styles! There is no comparison between us. We are each unique in our perspective and approach.
    I can’t wait to tell him about your blog post. He will certainly admire your slow and steady pace. I like what Brent said also. Doing it daily is like exercising.
    Go girl!
    Karen Hoyt 🙂

  3. Walter Akana says:

    Wow, Yolanda!! This is such an awesome post!! Not only have your revealed your fear, but your showing that you will master it!! It’s a big step toward greatness.

    I so agree (and so love) your perspective: “That’s what fear does. It keeps us vanilla.”

    For too many people, fear induces all kinds of conformist behaviors that end up keeping them comfortable and constrained!! They may say they want to change, and yet the fear limits them. So, they remind themselves that it’s all about “Do or Do Not.” So, they don’t even try!!

    Overcoming fear is saying, “I’m going to try. And when I fall down, I’m going to get back up and try again!

    • yolandadeloach says:

      Hi Walter, thank you so much for your added insight. I want to move past comfortable and I’m sure that’s going to mean falling down and getting up again as you mentioned.

  4. Hi yolandadeloach, your post is so true. When reading it I found myself nodding in agreement, your words are so true. I too lack confidence in my writing, but have started a blog regardless. I actually enjoy the writing bit, but like you it seems to take me forever to reach the 500 word count on a post. I too think too much and go back over what I wrote trying to improve it.

    I find the most nerve racking part of blogging is actually publishing what I have written!!

    It’s nice to know that I am not alone in my fears.

    • yolandadeloach says:

      Hi Debbie, publishing what we have written and worrying about what others think is hard! You’re right in that it’s nice to know that we’re not alone in our fears, but we’re willing to try anyway. Thank you for commenting!

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