What I learned from my first hate mail.

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I wrote a post on my blog a few days ago that got quite a bit of coverage. It was retweeted so many times that I lost count. I went from receiving a few hits a day if I was lucky to literally thousands. Now I’m not used to writing posts that get so much exposure and so two things went through my head when I saw how well it was doing. Continue reading

There is a bit of Dougal in all of us.

father-dougal-mcguireResistance doesn’t think, “how can I use the fear of failure or the fear of success to stall her from working.”

It thinks, “how can I use the fear of failure and the fear of success.”

If we were afraid of only failure then we would be able to justify working using success. So if I think “I might look stupid but at least I could help one person see something fresh”, then it’s worth it.

So resistance evolves to include the fear of success too.

“If this goes well I may be asked to take on more responsibility, which I’m not ready for” or
“If this post gets people talking and coming back I’ll need to write something just as good or even better”.

Notice how the fear of success quickly turns into the fear of failure.

We might need to come up with other great ideas, or we might need to surprise ourselves.

The good news is that this frees us up to be generous. When we focus on the potential failure or success we are focusing mainly on ourselves. We’re afraid of looking stupid or getting people’s hopes up and then feeling stupid when we let them down or make a mistake.

The antithesis to this is generosity where the only goal is to give without expectation of anything in return. You can’t feel stupid if you don’t care.

I can write a blog post that resonates with people and that’s fantastic so I work to make that happen again. But I do so by simply doing the work and putting it out there because it’s the right thing to do.

Whether it connects or not isn’t so important; it’s part of the active strategy to keep being generous.

Surprisingly though when we keep doing that, eventually something sticks. Something you write encourages someone or even better, the hope to do their own work. If you stop being generous eventually you’ll become so self obsessed and paralyzed with fear that you stop working altogether.

And your work is far too important to us to let that happen.

The greatest lesson I learned about being creative.

Sitting down everyday to write and facing a blank page is one of the hardest things to do as a writer. There is so much space to fill and so little to fill it with. If you face a blank canvass you can be sure that resistance will come along and fill it for you.

Anything to stop you creating.

There is one way to beat resistance. Continue reading

Fear V Courage

Fear works like this.

Something is presented to us that is unknown. This can be a person, an activity, a place, an idea, a job, a community, a thought.

As long as it is unknown to us it can create fear.

Fear then turns into worry and stress and the perception of a threat to our way of living.

This can lead to anger, attacks, prejudice and avoidance.

This then becomes how we react to anything new and it becomes a condition we live in.

Then we stall.

Courage works like this. Continue reading

Fear of giving.

We fear creating because we don’t like change and creating by its very nature, produces change.

We also fear creating because if we create then that means we are giving something of ourselves over for free. We may get paid but really it’s free because our work doesn’t always mean others will be vulnerable in return.

It’s a gift and that is all. A gift for the sake of being able to give. Continue reading