Fear, Doubt and Gratitude on the Creative Journey

. 4 min read

Hey you guys,

So, today was supposed to be a new post on Huna, but, the thing is, this morning, and, well, the past couple of days really, the wheels in my mind have been churning, and churning, and churning. And so I realized it’s about time to share a new post on this writerly journey (and save a new Huna post for next week).

What’s been going through my mind especially is the difficulty of this path, which isn’t something I necessarily love to talk about as it feels a bit negative and, frankly, a bit obvious. But still, what I’ve been grappling with lately is something I think a lot of you can relate to, and that’s the heart-crumbling feeling of self-doubt. For the first time since stepping onto this path I’ve actually witnessed thoughts moving through my mind like, “What if I just did something else?” You know, like something secure, something that pays no matter what, something that validates all the effort (emotional and intellectual) that I feel like I’m consistently pouring out.

These thoughts tend to last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on whether or not I address them right away—I “address” them by the way via journaling or simply listening to them. When ignored, these thoughts can billow and become so intense that I find myself on Indeed or LinkedIn looking for jobs, for a “way out” of this creative jungle I’ve fallen into.

Eventually, however—and there’s always a ‘however’—I realize I’m just scared, and that I actually prefer to be scared on the right path than to be “safe” on the wrong one. What’s more, I find myself reminding my monkey mind that it’s not wrong to be scared, that, in fact, it’s good. It’s stretching me, growing me.

Still, my mind seems to be caught up in this game of Tug-of-War, where one minute everything is okay, and the next everything is frazzled and uncertain and all I can think is, “What am I doing?”

The truth is, a lot of these fears come from a very real place. Like, okay, to be specific, one of my fears is finances. Obviously, we all need enough money to live. At the moment, I can acknowledge that I’m quite lucky to be in a space where I have a (nearly) passive income stream, but on the other hand this one stream is also not enough to live off of in Toronto, at least not in the Winter months. This city is expensive. Rent is crazy. And so I’m beginning to pick up more freelance jobs. Buuut that in and of itself is not the easiest of tasks. In my experience, my long-term clients always come from those I’ve met in person in the past. In other words? It’s quite hard (for me) to get clients virtually, with no previous first touch-point. It’s not impossible, of course; I do have a new one that I got purely from a cold-email I sent, but that’s far less common—again, in my experience, at least. So, yes, these fears are valid and they shouldn’t be ignored. They should be listened to and tended to. If we need money, it is our responsibility to go out there and earn it. But, what we need to avoid, or I need to avoid, I should say, is letting these fears spin out of control, dramatize and deepen to the point where they become something else: overwhelming anxiety.

The one thing I can say is when all these fears pile up and begin to spin into this monster, something that always helps me is stepping back, taking a breath, and reminding myself of my values, professional and lifestyle goals, and, really, my wildest dreams. What also helps is connecting with mentors, talking with friends who are also on this path, reading motivational books, and setting reminders on my phone—I have two that remind me of my values and purpose, and they alert me every day, usually just as I’m beginning to feel stressed. A lot of this, I know, sounds a bit cliché, but, hell, clichés exist for a reason, don’t they? They work.

After all, at the end of the day, when we’re really not feeling well—when we’re feeling unsteady, ungrounded, unsure—what we need is to feel understood, and also reassured that we’re doing what we’re meant to, that we’re following the blueprint of our unique souls.

So, I write this today to share with you guys this truth of my journey: that I’m scared most days, that I am actively working on opening up to the people in my physical life about these fears (something very hard for me as I don’t like to “burden” people and would very much prefer to talk about how I can help someone else versus how I can be helped—ah, that’s because of ego), and finally that I am so, so eternally grateful to you guys for being on this journey with me. Seriously. You guys are the best. Walking this path with you brings so much light, so much excitement, and such deep connections.

So much love friends,

PS. Here's why I chose the image I did for the cover. It's a symbol called "Hamsa," which stems from the Middle East but is found in cultures and religions throughout the world. It literally means "five" and stands for protection and blessings of (1) faith (2) hope (3) strength (4) peace (5) prosperity. Seeing this symbol brings me to a state of inner peace when I feel anxious, and so—voilà—the cover photo for this blog post :) x