Zone-Blockers keep us from experience the joy and freedom of writing in the Zone, that wonderful place within us filled with clarity, creativity, and unselfconscious ease. The last two posts were about busting Zone-Blockers: #1, The Big Miasma, and #2, Grey Fuzz. Today we tackle Zone-Blocker #3, Dark Fears. You can read more about these and other Zone-Blockers in my e-book, Creativity on Demand: Write in the Zone.
WHAT DARK FEARS?
Dark Fears can actually be part of the Grey Fuzz. Better to Fuzz Out than to look these gnarly fears in the eye! Some of these concerns are plausible, if I take a dark view–but most of them are nothing more than negative mental chatter. Some of these Dark Fears apply to many areas of life; others are specific to writers. Here are a few:
- I can’t do it.
- I won’t do it right.
- People won’t like it.
- I’ll be embarrassed.
- I fooled people before, but I’ll fail this time.
- They’ll reject me.
- It won’t be perfect.
- I’m not in the right mood to write.
- I’m not organized enough yet.
- What if I fail?
- What if I succeed? What then?
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. You may have your own versions of this negative mental chatter. It can get very loud, and sometimes it surfaces only after I have de-Fuzzed and brought my cerebral cortex back to life.
The first step is always awareness. I need to recognize that I’m in the grip of the Dark Fears. Busting this Zone-Blocker is similar to blowing away the Grey Fuzz. We’re just dealing with another layer of mental machination. Here are the steps I take:
1. Recognize that the Dark Fears are Dark Fears, not reality. They may seem very real, but most of them are just wild worries that my mind has whipped up.
2. Make a list. Just as with Grey Fuzz, it helps to write down and objectify the fears. Then they are outside me, in the list, not racing around inside my head. If I can see them, I don’t have to be them.
3. Check out those Dark Fears. Are any of them valid? Maybe I do need to get a bit more organized. Once I’ve examined the Dark Fears to see if any are valid, I do whatever I can to set the situation right. I might clean up my desk, for instance. Then, no more excuses.
What do you do to bust Dark Fears when they block your access to the Zone ?