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Last week, I wrote to you about making a manageable commitment to ourselves and then following through. As we make good on these commitments, we learn to trust ourselves again. We send the message to ourselves that we’re worth fighting for, our projects matter, our contribution counts. We treat ourselves as we would a friend instead of an enemy, which is the most important part.

One of the things that gets all tangled up in this “making a commitment to ourselves and following through” business is our fear.

What if it doesn’t turn out perfectly?
What if I fail?
What if no one notices?
What if it’s hard?
What if I don’t have any support?
What if people don’t get it?
What if I suck?
What if _________ could do it better?
What if I work so so so hard and it doesn’t end up mattering anyway?
What if I’m disappointed?
What if I end up with regrets?
What if . . .

I rehearse these “what ifs” all the time with my writing. What if, what if, what if . . . because writing well takes time and energy and vulnerability. And, well, what if it’s not worth it? What if it never amounts to anything? What if no one gets it? These are the days when I’m stuck in my own loops of fear, believing (erroneously) that life is only all about the product, when I have come to realize that life is actually so much more about the process.

Entering into the process is nearly always a mess. We will never be able to do things perfectly and glamorously all the time. Tragic, I know. What we’re talking about here is walking into the mess and being gentle with ourselves as we do so. That’s the miracle. That’s the thing that matters.

Making manageable commitments to ourselves and following through is about so much more than getting things done. It’s about walking with ourselves into imperfection and, in the face of fear, participating in life. This is tough stuff. And, also, the most rewarding. It’s called BEING BRAVE.

What fears are you facing today? Just remember, you’re not alone.

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