Conquer Fear With a Little Creativity

Is there something you’d like to try… but you don’t because of fear?

Perhaps it’s fear of looking silly or feeling stupid or not knowing how… or simply just fear of failure.

You might be surprised to find out that I am very much an introverted hermit at heart. Without some kind of external motivation to get me out the door and interacting with the world, I could easily never leave my house and for the most part, be perfectly okay with that. I like to think that is just my personality, but when it comes down to it, I’m sure that fear plays a pretty big role in that preference, too.

Fortunately, I am easily motivated by a few things that get me past this hurdle because let’s face it… there’s a lot more to life than sitting alone reading books!! One of those things that will push me to step outside that comfort zone a bit is the fun of seeing my photos mixed in with the other entries at the county fair, and so every few years I will take the time to submit a handful of my favorite pics from the past year.

Fair Photo EntriesA little background about this particular activity in my life… my husband and I met while working together at the local newspaper as reporters and a significant part of that job was taking photos to go along with the articles we would write. After spending a few years choosing photos worthy of publication, you tend to develop a definite set of criteria for what makes a “good” photo.

The thing is… my husband’s criteria and MY criteria don’t always match up, especially now that I am more focused on taking photos for the purpose of memory-keeping and scrapbooking, whereas he is still very much in the newspaper mindset. To get right to the point… very often I will take a photo that I LOVE and be excited to share it with him, only to get a lukewarm reaction and some version of “it’s nice, but it’s not great.”

I could let that get to me … and at times, it definitely does. There have been times when that kind of feedback has totally killed any interest I might have in sharing those photos anywhere else, especially a public arena like a fair where not only will the photos be viewed by lots of people, but literally judged.

But more and more, I just choose to take an entirely different approach, which is what I’ve done the last few times I’ve submitted photos to the fair. Now I simply don’t mention that I’m going to enter. I quietly go through my photos, pick my faves, get them all ready to go and submit them without a word to anyone in my family. It is only when they see their own faces hanging on the wall in the Trade Center that they realize I have entered … and by that time, it is too late to influence my choices or threaten my enthusiasm.

I’m more than a little pleased to say that this year, the judge seemed to feel pretty good about my choices, too… I submitted eight photos and ended up with two blue ribbons, one red, one white, and three honorable mentions, not to mention my first “Best of Class” purple ribbon for my very favorite photo this year… a shot from our daisy garden!

Best of Class Fair Photo

The moral to my story? Don’t let fear stop you from trying things that will add to your life and bring you pleasure. Maybe all you need is a little creativity in how you conquer that fear and quiet those negative voices – your own and those of others…

Is there a fear that is holding you back? Something you’d like to try but haven’t? Or perhaps a fear you have conquered and lived to tell about it? I’d love to hear about it through a comment below…

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