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In the pause: What to do with fear

It was 8:30pm last night and all of a sudden I was in my living room crying. I’ve been pouring myself in my book this week and I have a cold, but that’s not it. As I close this current chapter of my life and begin a new one, there’s a certain level of fear mixed in with my excitement. For a moment, that fear got the upper hand.

I’ve been through loads of changes like this before. I’m moved to new cities, left jobs, left relationships, started companies, closed companies, dealt with the loss of loved ones, and had great fluctuations in my income over the years. And let’s not forget my apartment building fire, the bullet through my lobby a few months ago, and that small matter of my airplane being hit by lightning in mid-flight causing an emergency landing just before the wing fell off on the tarmac. Life’s a real kick in the pants sometimes.

The difference for me right now is that I’m so unwilling to compromise when it comes to how I spend my time. The only thing I seem to have any appetite for now is building a better world. We are facing so many challenges that I want to be a part of solving, and there are brief moments when that becomes overwhelming. Last night was one of those times.

And then J.K. Rowling flew into my inbox, like fairy godmothers often do. Her advice? “Stopping worry about paying the rent. Concentrate on your public speaking phobia.” Doing heartfelt work often requires us to take our fear and put it over there so that we can get back to what we need to do. Cry it out. Dance it out. Yell it out. Write it out. Hell, eat a donut if need be. Do whatever you have to do to exercise the fear. Then, get on with it. The world needs you.

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