The first thing I do when confronted with a challenge is to see if there's a way out of it. Most times I can overcome my fears and face the scary stuff- most of the time. But this time the challenge was self imposed, and if I don't do it, I might regret it for the rest of my life.
I will be attending my first ever writer's conference at the end of July, and at present I'm somewhere between bed-wetting and a near-death experience! (yes, this is a direct quote from the Muppets Rizzo the Rat!) Did you hear me? At the end of July, I'll be facing people who will be reading my stories and determining whether I become a published author or not!
For me, this is like fighting a lion, a bear, and rabid wolverine in my undies with a toothpick. Yet I still have hope that I'll win!
I'm sure there are others who share this fear, because there will also be a lot of competition from already published authors, and other newbies like me. And the fact that this will be a Christian writer's conference is even more scary, because I just know these people are more favored by God. I just know.
At least until I talked to a published writer, and found out that she was more scared than I was! I kept thinking 'But she's published! She's done this before! Why is she so scared?' And her answer was the same as mine- she was afraid that her stories wouldn't get published, and her last book would be her 'last' book!
Of course I thought she needed some encouragement- after all, the way should be easier for her since she does have something to put on her resume other than 'I have two kids and have been reading children's books forever- twice.' We both agreed that this was definitely a 'wet pants' issue for the both of us. I made her laugh and feel much better about her work.
And in helping her, I helped myself!
When you have wet pants, it makes it easy to spot others with the same condition- and that's when you get courage! The 'wet pants' courage that allows you to comfort others in the same situation, and in giving that comfort, helps to boost your own courage to face those fears.
And that's when you both look down, laugh, and scurry to the ladies room to make it look like you spilled water all over yourselves.
Fear is always going to be there. But don't listen to the whispers that you're all alone in whatever your challenges are. Someone has gone through (or is currently going through) the same situation, so take heart!
After all, without fear, how can we be courageous?