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Friday, April 22, 2016

Crossing The Finish Line, Chicken/Egg Aside

It's usually not hard for me to identify when fear gets in my way. Even when temporarily unable to transcend that fear, I recognize its signs. Sometimes asking myself what I would do if I weren't afraid helps me climb out, sometimes not. What strategies do you use when fear gets in your way?

But recognizing how seductively comfort conspires with fear is a different story. How many times have you postponed a goal because your life is otherwise purring along pretty well? There's always tomorrow, right? True, except when it isn't. For me, the toxic comfort + fear combo most often presents itself in the creative domain. How many music or writing projects died a quiet death because things were comfortable in Barton-land I don't know for sure. But because I save most of my false starts, there's no escaping reality. Which came first - the comfort in my life or my fear? Does it matter?

If there is any truth in the conventional wisdom that says being aware of an issue is the necessary first step to addressing it, I've got cause for hope. And though I'm not seeking out discomfort to prod me into a creative frenzy, I'll waste no time further pondering this chicken/egg dilemma. That pile of unfinished projects awaits.


  1. Without comfort, we wouldn't recognize fear. Without fear, we wouldn't recognize comfort. I start to get concerned when I'm too comfortable in my creative pursuits. It's the tiny bit of butterflies in the stomach that let me know I'm challenging myself outside of my comfort zone. You can't see the beautiful view without looking over the cliff.

    1. Peter; I love your closing metaphor - "... can't see the beautiful view without looking over the cliff." Thanks for continuing to read and comment.

  2. Busyness is my classic fear avoidance technique. There is an endless stream of tasks to keep me from looking over the cliff!