what if…

After posting Kicking Fear’s Ass, many people have approached me, fascinated I gave up fear for Lent.  They want answers.  How can I be fearless too?  Are you ever terrified?  What do you do when you can’t imagine facing your fear?

I may have faced fear head on, but I still have moments of terror.  Everyone does.  We’re afraid for our children’s safety and health.  We’re afraid we won’t get a job or do well at the job we have.  We’re afraid we can’t pay our mortgage.  We’re afraid world peace will never come.  We’re afraid of growing old.  You name it, we’re afraid of it.

At this point in my life, there’s only one fear that drives me: I’m afraid I’ll arrive at my deathbed and utter the words, “What if…?”  What if I had worked harder?  What if I had pitched that script to one more producer?  What if I had taken that writing bootcamp?  What if I had spent more time with my kids?  What if I admitted I wanted to change my life years ago?  What if…?

Missing out on living my life to the fullest scares me far more than failure or rejection.

“What if?”  We all need to be reminded of what the greatest dangers truly are in life… not living it.

What are you afraid of?  What will you do to face that fear?

*this post is dedicated to Alie Flierl @2degreesofalie*

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20 thoughts on “what if…

  1. As one film instructor told my class, and probably every class, "Of course there's nepotism in Hollywood. There's nepotism in sanitation too, you just don't hear about. Get over it, stop your whining, shut the fuck up and do it!"Probably the best advice I ever received. ☺

  2. I'm like you, my biggest fear isn't failure, it's regret. I don't do regret. I do the best I can: work hard, play hard, love hard – and if I lose, at least I played. And that's always better than just sitting out the game.

  3. Moving forward in spite of your fears is what a satisfying life is about. Letting fear stop you? That's not really living. Some days are better than others, but the key is to step out of your safe space, throw your proverbial hat over the fence, and get out there and live your life! Thanks for the reminder. 😉

  4. Don't remember who said this but I found this quote I had written in a notebook several years ago:“There are four ways you can handle fear. You can go over it, under it, or around it. But if you are ever to put fear behind you, you must walk straight through it. Once you put fear behind you, leave it there.”Can't say that I've followed this advice all the time but when I have, it's been life altering.Thanks for reminder to live a life to the fullest! That's the very best way.New place looks great!

  5. I have no fear. I have nothing to protect. I have no sense that you're (still) insecure. Break free from wondering if, Jeannevb; you're already there. xo, Jennyablue.

  6. I can't imagine you not living life to the fullest, if anything, I think you've gone a little bit beyond! I'm not sure about my fears, maybe the fear that I won't be as good a parent as I can be, and the fear of what life post-parenting will be like.

  7. hi….didn't know this got a new look too! i thought it was your other home script-chat that did! love it! love it! love it!i am learning that fear exists whether we do what we want or whether we don't. i might as well do what i want and be afraid. 🙂 you inspire and just love the Universe for bringing me in your space. ~annie

  8. Such sweet comments! Marisa, I LOVE that quote! I have one on my Mac too: "It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." That one rings very true for me.Dizzydent: some of those shots are tequila ;)Debra, you are one who inspires me every day xoPete – "Yoda" *giggle* Mike – spoken like a man from Gotham ;)Karen, thanks! xoJenny – lovely to see you, as always. You definitely live without fear. Kudos.Rog – I share those fears as well. Children really are the test of terror haha.Julie & Jessica – totally agree! Where would fiction be without "what if?"Annie – yep, been reworking all the sites this week. Like I have nothing else to do hahaJessdani – keep punching, girl! Brava!

  9. i think my main fear has to be rejection: whether it be from a person or if i ever try to publish something. just the fear of not being good enough even if ive worked hard and being rejected. i suppose it's life par for the course though.

  10. Exactly true. The best things that have happened to me were when I faced my fear and did it anyway. What if I had not gone to the Writer's Digest Editor's Intensive? Resistance, fear's ally, cropped up in various ways to try to stop me. And it turned out to be the best thing I've ever done for my career. So I agree, face your fear and do it anyway. Great post, Jeanne.

  11. I remember after 9/11, then the London bombings. Family, friends, relatives pissing me off because they bought into fear. I tried to remind them that there is far more chance they are going to die from their obesity, booze, depression, stress, addiction to pills, etc etc.I dont think a lot of the world realise they walk a tight rope every day of their lives with their bad lifestyles. Lifestyles that are usually based on keeping yourself safe and snug.A lot of people live on the edge every day, but its a dull "existing" living on the edge, not healthy taking risks, exciting edge. Fear can kill you faster than a speeding bullet.I only fear one thing in life. Myself. I am not completely fearless. If I was, I could be in trouble.I have the same human weakness as everybody but I know it, so its a daily battle I like to fight.Great postDavid

  12. I love this blog. I think the same thing all the time. One time I was talking to my friend Lou Lou – yes her real name – and she said, "Do I really want to be remembered for keeping my house clean?"

  13. Catherine: rejection happens every day. Even my cat rejects me 🙂 But you can let the fear of rejection go if you embrace your own flaws and wounds and learn how to love yourself… the good, the bad and the ugly. Frankly, there's no harder love in the world than that, but just take one little flaw at a time and accept it. The only rejection that matters is your own. David: 9/11 had a huge impact on my life. It's why I started training in martial arts. I wanted my family to know if I had been sitting on any of those planes, I wouldn't be crying in my seat….I'd be kicking someone's ass on my way out. Yeah, we all live making stupid choices, but paralyzing our lives in fear is the worst of them. Beck: So glad you enjoyed the post. A clean house? Ugh. I am so not going to be remembered for that! haha

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