Coping with fear

“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

-Herbert, Frank. Dune. Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1965. Print.

Yes, everyone knows I’m a big geek and I read Dune many years ago. This passage was one the first pieces I read about fear and I always kept it in mind when dealing with my own. And even thought I’ve shown my art so many times before, fear, anxiety, and nervousness is something I still feel, albeit to a lesser extent ever time I have a show.

I think when you’re fearful, the worst thing you can do is fight it. You don’t push fear away. You accept it, feel it, let it  fill you. You can even let it paralyze you. But only for a moment.  It’s strange that when you let fear in, it’s easier to controll and it will even got away if you give it a minute to pass. And really, all it takes is just a minute. 

Fear is natural. In some ways, it  can enhance our performance.  Rooted in out fight/flight reaction, it gets our hearts pumping and makes our senses a little more aware.  It can move us to act. And when you work past the fear, it’s empowering. 

And honestly, handling fear is the easy part.  It’s handling anxiety that’s hard. 

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