Positive Writer

Writing through doubt and fear, and you can, too!

The Doubts and Fears that Hold Us Back (and What to do About Them)

Let’s have a moment of honesty.

Do you have doubts and fears that hold you back?

What if you could legitimately do something about them and achieve your goals and live out your dreams? Would you do it?

The answer, for most of us, is probably not.

The problem is that doubts and fears don’t just hold us back from doing things we want to do with all of our hearts, like writing a book, or publish in public, or telling our most intimate stories, – doubts and fears hold us back from even attempting to overcome them.

In fact, they cause even the easiest ways of circumventing them seem challenging, if not downright impossible.

The good news is that you can do it.

I used to be afraid of heights, very afraid. My therapist tried for years to get me to go on a guided hike up a certain mountain trail to face my fear. I would not do it. Hell to the no!

I told myself it was ridiculous, it wasn’t worth it, and the guided hike cost way too much. (It could have cost 25 cents and it would have been too much.)

But that wasn’t what was really stopping me. A few hundred bucks were not the big deal. No, it was fear taking control. It had a grip on me so tightly that even the mere suggestion of defeating it was threatening. I got cold sweats just thinking about the mere possibility of that hike.

It changed my life.

Somehow, I finally went and I’ve never missed a dollar of what it cost or missed any of the time doing something else. That had just been my fear rationalizing itself.

The hike turned out to be nothing less than majestic.

When I reached the Castle Eltz I was so proud of myself. The castle itself is in a Valley, but to walk there you must travel via a wide path on a mountain side, at the edge of a cliff, with a raging river below. Yep.

I was never in real danger (I hope), but it was one of the most difficult, yet rewarding walks, ever.

The moral of this story is that when something you know full well what will help you overcome your doubts and fears, but “reasons” rise up in your mind that vehemently talk you out of doing it, be it cost, time, or telling yourself you’re not good enough, or -pick something- you might want to do it anyway.

You. Are. Good. Enough.

1) Money. I give away eBooks and I’ve given away online courses that people have downloaded or joined and didn’t use. So cost wasn’t really a factor. In fact, people who pay so far seem to be the most likely to actually do something. Nobody likes to let what they spend to go to waste, but mentally, free is worth what it costs.

2) Time. There’s never enough time to do anything, until there is. It’s true, for some stuff you will need to set time aside for it. There are so many other things which beg for your attention and your time, but once you use your time to overcome whatever’s holding you back, later you’ll realize it’s the best time you ever spent.

3) It’s too hard. Is it really? Life is usually more difficult when we allow our doubts and fears to control us or what we want. It will always seem too hard, but you’re probably already facing your hardest challenges because of big D and big F. In fact, doing the work to overcome them will usually make things far easier in the long run.

You know, currently I’m offering a journaling course and I’ve received so many messages from people who want to take it, but it costs too much, or they don’t have the time, or something else is keeping them from taking the course.

That’s okay. They shouldn’t force themselves to do anything.

It took my therapist two years, TWO YEARS, to get me to start a positive journal. Of course, it cost me thousands of dollars in therapy, but to actually sit down and write my personal truths, oh, hell no! It wasn’t happening. Until it did. What a relief.

My life changed, dramatically.

I know, the outcomes all seem so ridiculously positive when you finally go against your doubts and fears and win, but what if it’s true?

Face your fears, I was told. What utter BS. Until I did. It didn’t entirely cure me the first try, but I’ve visited more and more castles over the years and those things are rarely down low, and some are even haunted (but that’s another story).

What if it is our doubts and fears that keep us from doing what could actually work to free ourselves from them?

We still probably wouldn’t do it.

Until…

In my memoir I wrote, when the student was ready the master appeared. Yeah, I stole that line, but only because it’s true. So, allow me to pass this on, when something feels absolutely right to you and internally you know, really know, it will help, don’t let doubt or fear talk you out of it. Do it. Do it with all of your heart.

The walk to Castle Eltz was the master over my fear of heights and subsequent walks. It’s a work in progress, but I’m doing it. The adventures I would’ve missed had I not faced my fear, and I’ve got to tell you, the views – wow!

My positive journal was the master which helped me make sense of my life and gave me an outlet for my writing when I didn’t have one. I never wrote every day until I started guided journaling. Since then I’ve published nearly a dozen books. Who knew?! You would not be reading this had I not start my positive journal.

What have you got to lose?

A couple bucks, a little bit of time, or something else you think you could never get back? That’s what doubt and fear want you to believe.

Instead, ask yourself:

What will I gain?

Such as: Freedom, tenacity, striving to achieve your goals, writing in public, publishing your words, making a living from your art… traveling to Bavaria to see the Disney castle. Oh, sorry, that last one is my stretch goal (Neuschwanstein).

Indeed, what do you have to gain? A heck of a lot. Right? Think about it.

I’m sure it’s a lot more than you could ever really lose; because here’s what doubt and fear don’t want you to know: you have to gain something before you could ever lose it–they just want you to think you’re going to lose in advance.

That’s pretty messed up if you ask me. But they don’t play fair and we shouldn’t expect them to.

Do it anyway. Whatever it is.

Take your dreams seriously and live out each day to your fullest potential!

Do it, because you can.

~

If you have any questions about The Art of Positive Journaling, feel free to email me or comment below.

Have you stood up to your doubts and fears? How’s it going? If you haven’t yet, are you ready to start looking for ways to face them?

About Bryan Hutchinson

I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

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Like a good friend, Bryan guides you through the process of facing your inner demons, conquering the craft, and creating work that matters. ―Jeff Goins

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  • Julie Mayerson Brown

    Doubt and fear: “They just want you to think you’re going to lose in advance.” I will remember this tidbit of brilliance. What an interesting and odd aspect of human nature that we worry about losing things we don’t even have.

  • samcarter44

    This is great! It took me a long time to start my blog and even longer to press publish on the first post. I still take a couple of deep breaths before I post publish on something that is particularly vulnerable for me. Then I remember how much my blog and my journal have helped me, and the deep breaths stop. Here is my latest post if anyone is interested. https://alisarussell.wordpress.com/2017/08/17/the-honesty-of-children/