“In such genuine creative and performing moments, fear and courage become one, dancing together in harmony.”
Psychotherapist Mihaela Ivan Holtz
How can we relate to fear in a positive way to be more fully alive and creative?
What advice and tips do artists, psychologists and others have on how to manage anxiety and fear?
There are, of course, many ‘flavors’ of fear – and some can help motivate us.
In an interview, actor Sophia Lillis (It; Sharp Objects, and other projects) was asked, “What inspires you?”
“Fear of failure. When you work on a film, there’s a lot at stake.
“The director’s vision, the other actors, a lot of money.
“I just want to do a good job and not let everyone down.”
(From Issue mag. interview.)
Fear and confidence
Lily Sullivan, like many actors and other artists, has talked about struggling with confidence.
“There’s always pressure. In my job, I have to be vulnerable and re-create moments that people do in private…I definitely battle with being confident.
“But, in a way, I can now recognize and still do what the fear is telling me not to do.”
She says her character Miranda Reid in the TV series ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock‘ – set in 1900 – has helped her find more courage.
“Miranda doesn’t accept the expectations of women in that time…
“But after filming Picnic, I’m so grateful for who I am as a woman in 2018, because of how far society has come.”
(Australian actress Lily Sullivan on facing her fears in new series ‘Picnic At Hanging Rock’, Now To Love, May 16, 2018.)
Another actor in the series is Natalie Dormer.
An interview article notes she “revealed she had no confidence during her teenage years and did not become comfortable with herself until she was in her 20s.”
She said: “I was incredibly geeky and had no sense of style.
“I came out of my shell a bit when I was doing my A-levels and found drama, but I really didn’t get into my stride until I was pushing my late 20s.”
(From article Natalie Dormer ‘profoundly bullied’ at school, bangshowbiz 7/1/2018.)
Enjoy this outstanding series: Picnic at Hanging Rock (Amazon Prime)
Psychotherapist Mihaela Ivan Holtz works with creative people in TV/Film, performing and fine arts.
In one of her articles on her site, Creative Minds Psychotherapy, she notes:
As a creative or a performer you know too well that moment when you have to ‘show up!’
Perhaps it’s right when you step onto the stage or when you are about to present your creative ideas to a room packed with important people.
It’s that moment when you almost feel drunk on the cocktail of your emotions – a mix of fear and courage at the same time, flooding all that you are.
This mix of fear and courage can take you right to where you hope to be – that emotional space where your feelings blend just beautifully in a powerful mix, you flow into your performance.
As matter of fact, it feels so right that you are not scared anymore.
You don’t feel like you have to prove anything.
You just create or perform… your audience is moved by you.
In such genuine creative and performing moments, fear and courage become one, dancing together in harmony.
Fear and courage coexist in a intimate relationship, working together toward helping you accomplish your goals, hopes, dreams…
They help you face challenging situations like auditions, presenting your script, or stepping onto the stage.
The intimate relationship between fear and courage
In these moments of ‘showing up,’ you need your fear to ignite your courage and you need your courage to face your fears.
Fear and courage are like yin and yang – complementary, interconnected, and interdependent.
They need one another to exist. Their dynamic interaction helps you to face the world, grow, and change.
Every time you face a challenging moment – an audition, a new show, presenting your creative ideas – and you succeed, you develop this internal knowing about how to face a challenge.
See much more in her article
Bullying affects many creative people, and can affect how we deal with fears.
J.K. Rowling was teased about her name, with schoolmates calling her ‘Rowling Pin,’ she says.
“I know what it is like to be picked on, as it happened to me, too, throughout my adolescence. Being a teenager can be completely horrible…I wouldn’t go back if you paid me.”
From my article J.K. Rowling: an ordinary and extraordinary childhood.
Actors who have been suffered from being bullied in school include Zooey Deschanel, Lily Cole, and Viola Davis.
Lady Gaga was bullied, even thrown into a trash can.
She said, “I was called really horrible, profane names very loudly in front of huge crowds of people, and my schoolwork suffered at one point.
“I didn’t want to go to class. And I was a straight-A student, so there was a certain point in my high school years where I just couldn’t even focus on class because I was so embarrassed all the time.
“I was so ashamed of who I was.”
From my article Creative People, Trauma and Mental Health.
What we call fear may really be excitement: emotional and physiological arousal.
Creativity coach and author Eric Maisel, PhD notes it can sometimes be hard to distinguish nervous tension from anxiety or fear:
“Part of the confusion is that ‘life energy’ in the form of hormones like adrenaline are necessary, so it is easy to confuse ‘enthusiasm’ with ‘anxiety,’ since both have a real (and similar) hormonal edge to them.”
One example of this may be Jennifer Lawrence, who won a 2014 Golden Globe for the movie “American Hustle.”
She said in her acceptance speech, “I don’t know why it’s so terrifying; it’s obviously a good thing. I don’t know why I’m so scared. I don’t know why I’m shaking so much.”
She joked to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (which confers the awards), “Don’t ever do this again.”
From my article Living and Creating: Fear Is Not A Disease.
video : Fear and imagination
A page on the site of Neurogym notes:
“Fear is nothing more than emotion fueled by imagination.
“Actual impending danger is different, because it’s real. Fear is really a choice.”
NeuroGym presents “Winning The Game of Fear” – a free webinar by John Assaraf, the Founder and CEO.
Register for any of these free NeuroGym webinars:
Brain-A-Thon/Game of Money
Winning the Game of Weight Loss
Winning the Game of Fear
Learning to navigate our fears
John Assaraf says:
“I use this analogy for some of my business coaching and of course it applies to every day life as well:
“When we get caught in life’s storm, fear begins to set in if we do not know how to handle the inclement weather.
“Great captains learn to use the wind to fill their sails, not destroy them. You can learn to be a great captain of and for yourself.”
See much more in article:
How to Reduce Anxiety and Fear With NeuroGym programs by John Assaraf.
More information and help:
See much more on the page: Emotional Health Resources
Programs, books, articles and sites to improve your emotional balance and enhance your creative life.