Working through Fear

Last week I hauled up at the lake to work on my show ‘Lighten Up!’ I told myself I needed to be alone with no interruptions. I had romantic notions of myself working tirelessly around the clock, creating from the fountain of my dreams. I was filled with a sense of excited accomplishment on the drive down, imagining how much I would achieve—prematurely pleased with myself. By the time I had unpacked, pulled the blinds up, and sat down with a cup of tea, that excitement, had flipped into anxiety.

The creative process is a mystical and highly unpredictable pursuit; therefore, fear-inducing. One must stand in the foggy unknown like a sacrificial goat offered up to a hungry dragon. Will genius come to rescue me? With the hours stretching out before me, I sat staring at an overwhelming pile of ideas, scribbled notes, drawings, and computer files with no idea how to stitch them into a hilarious yet poignant theatre production. Alas not, so defeated, I got into bed with my anxiety and watched Bob’s Burgers and ate junk food. What else could I do?

The first show I created for theatre was ‘Sectioned’. It was a terrifying, lonely, anxiety-ridden process that took me to very dark places before the light finally flooded the stage, and everything was fine again. Now that I’ve matured (somewhat), I find acceptance coupled with Netflix yields better results in the long run.

As a therapist and a permanent student of self-development, I know that Netflix plus junk food is my go-to anxiety binder. I find temporary and unsatisfactory refuge from fear by zoning out. Lucky for me, my show is about facing fear and shining my light, so I called it research and took the hit. Reframing fear into a gift that helped me wait for my inner hero to make its entrance.

The following day, I woke up ready to get my creative groove on. I plugged into the power of the universe, and in came my courageous inner hero (a day late,) torch blazing, and ready for action. In the glare of light fear loses all its power. It came back 4 hours later—enough time to get some work done. It’s progress, not perfection.

Keep moving forward,

Love from Lizzie xx

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