Warning:  What follows is very raw, unpolished and deeply personal.  I cried as I wrote this.  I’m sharing it with you because I want you to know there is freedom from what holds you back right now.  And, maybe just maybe, if I show you my fears, you will realize you’re not alone in yours.

Have you ever faced your demons head on?  Have you ever written down what you were afraid of?  Last June I did this, in the form of a writing exercise from Courage & Craft (Barbara Abercrombie).

The gist of the prompt was this:  Write about what keeps you from writing (you could insert whatever it is you struggle with here).  Give this thing a color, shape, sound, a voice, a texture, etc.  

So here goes…

“6/7/2013

It’s a fire-breathing dragon at first, floating in the air, it comes from the right, claws tracted, sharp teeth bearing.  A guttural roar comes from its throat, like a thousand lions, it shakes me.  I feel that its talons will tear me apart. I can feel his flaming hot body warming my skin, his hot breath, sulfurous in my face. He is telling me NO!  I will tear you apart if you write this!  You are not allowed to write this, his gurgling roar says without words.  He’s floating there, menacing on the right side of my visual field.  It is dark all around and I’m scared to tears.  If I fail, he’ll tear me apart, but this drive within me keeps picking away at me making it more uncomfortable NOT to write.

The swirling gray and black pit now threatens below me.  A whirlpool of fear and doubt attempts to drag me down and then money, paper bills start falling from the sky over me.  The bills turn to stones and as I sink into the pit the stones pile up and cover me entirely. “

And then I kept writing anyway, in fact, even more.

We all have our fears and demons to exercise.  Mine are failure, what other people think (silly I know) and lack of money.  It’s hard to pursue something just for the love of it, for the absolute faith that it will turn into something worthwhile, something that transcends the value of money.  It’s scary as hell.  But I’m done playing small.  I’m finally standing up for what I believe in for my future.  I know I have something important to give – there’s no doubt in my mind.

How about you?

You have greatness within you.  Whatever it is that you want to contribute to this world – do it.  You only have so many years left to make your mark!

Try doing the above exercise yourself!  Write about your absolute worst fears – what paralyzes and shatters you. (& please tell me about it.)