Writing

Embracing the Presence of Fear

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Georgia O’Keefe, Painter (even in the presence of fear)

What is it that you’re afraid of?

Failure? Taking a risk and not seeing it work out? Having regrets? Letting people down? Not living up to your full potential?

These are worthy fears, worthy of being felt and worthy of being channeled into your work. There is no rule that says we have to keep fear separate from our work. There is no rule that says art is for the fearless only. We know that isn’t true. Georgia O’Keeffe said it best when she said, “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life—and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” Her paintings would not be what they are today if she hadn’t experienced fear and painted anyway, alongside that fear. She didn’t try to deny fear or avoid it; she acknowledged it, and then worked alongside of it to create the work she came here to do. And so can I. And so can you.

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