How To Get Your Creativity Back When Fear Is Killing Your Vibe

Today on the Business of Writing podcast, we interviewed Finka Jerkovic about her book, Sell From Love, and her idea that everything we do in life is either motivated by love or fear.

I’ve been thinking about it this afternoon, because Twitter opened up their verification process again (so you can get that little blue tick next to your name that means you’re important), and it sent me into a spiral of anxiety about whether I’m doing enough to share my writing.

The anxiety spiral tends to be a good sign that I’m doing something out of fear.

Like… if I don’t promote my writing on Twitter, I’ll become an obsolete nothing and no one will ever value me or my work again.

That’s absurd, obviously, and feels so alarming that it paralyses me from actually doing any of that promoting, so I’ve been thinking about how to reframe it into a more loving state of mind:

Like… if don’t I promote my writing on Twitter, I won’t get to help as many people embrace their creativity and love their lives more as a result.

That’s much more motivating than stressing myself out about something I can’t control.

Our brains are ridiculously good at manipulating our behaviour with fear.

It’s a survival mechanism, and a damn good one, but generally, the slow crawl of evolution has not caught up to how few dangers we actually face in the modern world.

So fear continues to do what it does best, which is to obliterate everything from our minds except whatever the perceived threat currently is — out goes our joy, gratitude, creativity and perspective.

Fear can also be hard to spot, because it loves a good disguise and will find a new one as soon as you strip one away. It shows up as resistance, anxiety, indecision, reactiveness, self-doubt, risk aversion, rumination and defensiveness.

Ultimately, fear is a sticky handbrake. It stops you from expressing yourself — even to yourself — and it’s at the root of every single thing in your life that you want to change or improve but haven’t.

A little bit of love and curiosity will unstick that bad boy.

There’s no creativity when fear is in charge, so care for the frightened part of yourself — acknowledge the fear and how real it feels right now.

Then you can start to question whether that fear is actually useful, or if it’s hiding something else, and believe me, fear starts to go to pieces under questioning.

(Turns out my Twitter fear is much more about making myself visible/vulnerable online than it is about whether I get verified or not.)

We’re not very good at showing ourselves love and compassion when fear comes along. But it’s the fastest way out (with the added bonus of not traumatising yourself by forcing yourself through something you’re not ready to deal with!) and it builds on itself.

When you work through your fears with love in mind, the fear goes for good, instead of coming back around every time you look elsewhere.