Dearest Fear... a letter from Elizabeth Gilbert

Below is an excerpt from a wonderful book called Big Magic, written by Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat, Pray Love.  Big Magic is about dreams and creative ambitions, procrastination and curiosity. It's inspiring, reassuring and amusing.  One of my favourite bits is this letter she wrote to Fear, acknowledging that it is part of her life but asking it to stop getting in the way of the things she wants to do.  I hope it might might make you smile and nod as we've all been sidetracked by fear at one time or the other, and maybe it will offer you a little bit of courage if you've been wanting to, but holding back on, setting out on a creative endeavour...


Dearest Fear,

Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you'll be joining us, because you always do. I do acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that your take your job seriously. Apparently your job is to induce complete panic whenever I'm about to do anything interesting and, may I say, you are superb at your job. So by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There's plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and I will never exclude you from our activities, but still your suggestions will never be followed. You're allowed to have a seat, and you're allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You're not allowed to touch the road maps; you're not allowed to suggest detours; you're not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you're not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.

~Elizabeth Gilbert~