Why This Fear Matters to Us (Even if We Think it Doesn’t)

Humans share a handful of fundamental fears. The psychology of fear is complex enough that searching the internet for “fundamental human fears” will provide a million websites by a hundred thousand experts sharing a thousand lists of the true absolute definitive fundamental human fears.

These, though, show up consistently, right after fear of death and dismemberment:

  • fear of rejection
  • fear of shame
  • fear of loss of control (sending our creative work out into the world to be eaten alive by critics, for instance)

You have these fears. No matter how well-adjusted you are, no matter your support network, self-esteem, accomplishments, social status, level of confidence, or anything else, you have these fears.

And just as you can’t choose not to feel the pain when you stub your toe or get punched in the head, you can’t simply choose not to feel the pain of rejection, shame, or loss of control.

Because they’re the same pain.

Let’s ask a UCLA professor of social psychology to weigh in, eh?

… more … “Why This Fear Matters to Us (Even if We Think it Doesn’t)”

You’re Not Doing it Right

In his Monday Morning Memo for December 11, 2017, Roy H. Williams said that some people’s creative efforts were stifled because “every time they’ve done it in the past, a prune-faced martinet weaned on a pickle rapped them on the knuckles with a ruler, rolled his eyes and said, ‘You’re not doing it right.'”

Here are some things you believe:

  1. Your conscious brain makes decisions
  2. Those decisions are based on reason
  3. Emotions prevent good decision-making
  4. Your unconscious manages systems (breathing, circulation, digestion) but stays in the background, except maybe when you’re dreaming
  5. Memory is the act of accessing recordings of sights and sounds stored in your brain
  6. Memories are accurate, because they’re recordings
  7. While things can be forgotten, you can’t remember things that never happened
  8. Memory is a purely mental function, happening only in your brain
  9. If you don’t remember something it doesn’t affect you
  10. Willpower is how things get done

Guess how many of those are true?

Did you guess zero?

… more … “You’re Not Doing it Right”

Your Unconscious is Not a Terrorist. You Are Allowed to Negotiate.

Preservation of life is your unconscious mind’s primary function. Beyond breath and hunger it uses another tool to keep you alive: alertness to danger.

Because your unconscious is an ethereal non-physical entity, non-physical threats weigh the same as the physical. Whether the light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train or a painful memory, the instinctive response is avoidance. Run from danger; that’s what your unconscious does. Most of the time, it’s a good bodyguard.

You’ve seen it in a movie or TV show: protected VIP convinces overzealous bodyguard to allow some latitude, provided safeguards are in place. Sure, kid, you can go to the zoo, but we’ll have a tracking device in your shoe and men in black at every gate.

Your unconscious is a bodyguard trying to protect you, not a terrorist trying to take you down.

a conversation with your unconscious

What if you could negotiate some free time, give your bodyguard the morning off so you could write from your heart, pouring it all out, wheat and chaff together, spilling some of that internal truth onto the page? What if, for a little while, you made your unconscious feel safe, so it would stay out of the way while you go on a hot date with a great scene for your novel?

You can. Here’s how. … more … “Your Unconscious is Not a Terrorist. You Are Allowed to Negotiate.”