Because these days I often feel like screaming in to a void due to all the injustices and cruelties that are happening around the world I decided a while back to start reading more, specifically self-help books, books that are meant to inspire me and motivate me to be a better person. This is how I ended up reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert who’s also the writer of Eat, Pray, Love.
In Big Magic she writes about the qualities needed to live creatively. And as someone who doesn’t exactly consider herself as creative this spoke to me. Creative living, according to Gilbert, simply means pursuing the joy of making something with one’s self, that sounded like something I could do. This book gives you six steps to follow that should lead you to a more creative life. But the step that spoke to me the most was the first in this step she talks about having the courage to pursue your creative dreams and facing your fears towards living a creative life.
In the book Gilbert suggest writing a letter to your fear, thank your fear but make it clear that you do not need him on your current journey. Claiming my millennial title, I can say that like many others I every so often deal with some mild anxiety. Because fear is a known cause of anxiety, I figured it can’t hurt to try this exercise. And that’s how I decided to write a letter to my fears inspired by Gilberts letter. But instead of writing it geared towards a creative journey mine is geared towards going into my last year of college.
Together we have been on many journeys, you have done your job well and kept me safe all throughout my life. I am about to start a new journey, I about to enter my senior year and I am very excited. I understand that you will be wanting to join me on this journey as well however, on this journey I don’t need you to make me panic whenever I’m going to do something new, interesting and challenging.
While it’s understandable that this is your job and you will do as you must I want you to know that I will go on if when you induce paralyzing panic. I will not give up, that is my job on this journey. On this journey motivation will be joining us and will keep me focused and inspired throughout this trip. And while there is plenty of room for all of us on this journey I want to make it clear that you fear will not be the one in the drivers seat and you will not get to make the decisions those will be made by me and only me.
While you are part of the family and you will not be excluded your suggestions will not be entertained or followed. You will have a seat; you’ll be given a voice but, on this trip, you won’t have a vote. Please keep doing your job of keeping me safe, you do it so incredibly well. Nevertheless, this time you aren’t the one to decide the road map of this journey.
It’s been a few weeks since I wrote the letter and I’m still on my internship but whenever I feel overwhelmed or just a bit stressed, I re-read this letter. It gives me comfort; this letter also reminds me to stay on track and not give in to the fear of failing. This has truly helped me keep my anxiety at bay.
How about you? How do you deal with your stress or anxiety?
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Phryme Magazine.