Fear is the mind killer. I must not … SPIDER!!!!


“Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters. Awful proceeds from the same root word as awesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation.”
– Alan Cohen

I am my own worst enemy. It is my fear of failing and my fear of succeeding that traps me. I stall at every step. I put things off. I hide in books instead of doing the work I need to in order to have the life I want. What if I work very hard, and do all the steps, and fail? What if I don’t lose weight? Or don’t keep up with the house work? Or don’t sell any books? Or don’t save enough money to go on an exotic vacation?

What if I do? What if I do lose weight and my skin gets all saggy? Or if I do sell a bunch of books and my life changes? How will I know when to leave my job and become a full-time writer? What if I do manage to juggle everything, and I’m not any happier?

I’ve heard all the inspirational quotes about believing in yourself. They don’t really help when the panic sets in. I don’t really have any advice or wisdom to offer. If you have some, please share it. I want to be brave. I want to be strong, vibrant, and take risks. I want to face my fears and move past them. So for inspiration I offer this. The story of Hideaki Akaiwa.


EDIT- my link for Hideaki wasn’t working- I hope this fixed it, if not cut and paste this- http://www.badassoftheweek.com/akaiwa.html his story is worth it.

19 responses »

  1. Okay, first of all…that is a really big spider picture *shiver* and HOLY batman! What an amazing story! I can not believe he even found his mother…seriously?! I’m speechless.

  2. wow, what a badass – Patricia’s right though, the link is broken. Try taking off the // at the end.

    Now, if he can do that, I should be able to submit my graduation app essays, right?

  3. Wow, Alica, your blog came to me at the exact time I needed to read this. I’m right there with you. Every word! I’ve been a funk lately and I know it’s different levels of fear for different outcomes. But I haven’t figured out a way to deal with it either. So I can’t offer advice but I can offer you some company! 🙂

    • I’m all for company. Grab some wine and chocolate and we’ll ponder the universe together 🙂
      I wish I had advice to offer- I know for me I have to exercise- it makes a huge difference in how I cope with stress.

  4. Everything is relative isn’t it? I’d heard Hideaki’s story (much less enthusiastically told) and was impressed by how events try us in different ways. I’d like to think more of us would follow his lead if the necessity arose. It’s also a good parable for, wow, my life is pretty darn easy. I’m constantly reminded of that reality when I think of all the other lives I could be living.

    (potty mouth alert – those with sensitive eyes, stop reading now)

    This probably won’t be of any value, but here’s the wisdom I’ve learned from making some truly spectacular mistakes in my life, pared down to a haiku (not even a really angry one).

    Just fucking do it
    Because it cannot hurt much
    and it just might help.

    The things that make me nervous, frighten me, and produce the knee wobbles are usually the very things I need to simple try. We each find our way – lately mine has just been to walk out there and do it. Insecurity is like flab – poke it, work it, move it and it becomes muscle. There’s a messed up metaphor. lol

    • Best haiku ever! I love it- and I frequently have days like that. I’m trying to work my flab into something better- a graphic metaphor but very real. 🙂 It doesn’t matter what is holding us back we all need to strap on some SCUBA gear and dive into the murky waters- who knows what will happen, we just might save a life. Wow I think I need a campy alert on that one.

  5. Love your honesty and determination, Alica. And WOW, is all I can say about Mr. Akaiwa.

    The only advice I can give is this: write anyway. I find that once I’m words, paragraphs or pages deep in the process, fears trickle away and confidence emerges. Put another way, I ignore myself and focus on the page.

  6. Alica,

    You had the bravery to utter the words I feel. Fear is a huge part of our human make-up, and I truly believe if I can vanquish self-doubts and worries, I can accomplish anything. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  7. Hi Alica. Just wanted to drop you a note and say congratulations for getting the gumption to self-publish your own story! I read Gypsy Caravan last year, and came back to find the extra “chapter” so happy for you!

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