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Irrational Fears

J.R. Murdock

Admit it, there’s something you know to be so absurd to be afraid of, but you’re still scared. I’m not talking about a fear of the dark or what might be lurking under your bed. I’m talking something truly silly bordering on impossible. Think about it for a minute. When your rational mind turns off, there’s something that scares you for no real reason and you can’t explain why.

I have some, and they’re not normal. One I know to be ridiculous and the other I know is impossible. Even so, they’re fears I need to overcome in order to accomplish a task. You might think you have an idea what I’m talking about, but I assure you, you’re not even close.

The first it pretty silly and borders on the impossible. It ha to do with blenders. No, really. I have a fear of our blender. When I’m standing there in front of it and thinking about those blades whipping around at Mach speed, I fear what would happen should one of those blades snap off. I’m right there and even though it could go anywhere away from me and would most likely get stuck in the blender jar, I worry that it’ll come straight at me. Even then, if it did hit me, it would probably miss all my important parts.

Why does this scare me? Where did this fear come from? How do I resolve it? It’s not some times when I use the blender, it’s every time I use the blender. That means I need to face that absurd fear each time I use it. I don’t know what part of my brain makes this irrational fear rational. I wish I know. It’s frustrating.

But there’s another, even more bizarre fear I have. This one, I’m pretty sure, comes from getting scared one too many times as a child. What’s around that corner? Is someone going to jump out at me? Did I see too many scary movies as a kid? Those don’t make me jump. I laugh more than fear them. I analyze how they performed the special effects. I’ve ready Fangoaria and seen specials on effects and makeup. So you’d think I’d be able to rationalize that when I open the garage door, no one is going to be there. Certainly not holding a spear, or bow, or large knife. Why would they be hiding in my garage?

Regardless of my brain knowing that there isn’t anyone in the garage (I could have been in there five minutes ago) I still have this twinge of fear that as soon as I open that door some psychotic will lunge at me. Why? Why does my brain hate me? It’s not that I want to be afraid of the garage door and I will still open in knowing that no one is there, but I can’t stop my brain from saying “DON’T DO IT! YOU’LL DIE!” I have to turn it off for the moments it takes me to open the door.

With both of these, I know they make no sense. When I sit here typing this up, I know they’re both impossible to happen. That’s the thing with fear. It’s irrational. Your brain can build something up that’ll scare you when deep down you know there’s nothing to be scared of. It’s all a matter of how you manage that fear.

I understand that some people cannot manage fear. Something in their wiring doesn’t allow them to overcome that fear. I’m lucky in that I can push past that fear.

There’s another fear that’s very real, yet I still must overcome every time I sit down at the keyboard. That what I’m writing sucks. No one will like it and/or no one will read it. Why put all this time and effort into something no one will like.

Again, this is a fear that I must overcome or I’ll be sitting here staring at a blank page and getting nothing written. So, I push past that fear and start typing. Once I do, I realize that I’m writing stories for one person. Me. Sure, I want to sell my stories. I’m happy when I see a sale. Even if those are few and far between, it doesn’t matter. Someone read my story. Someone bought my story. Even if they didn’t like it, there’s nothing I can do about that. No author can please 100% of his/her audience, so how could I expect to? All I can do is write a story I’m happy with and proud of, and get it out there.

And that is exactly what I started doing again. Writing for me. Writing the stories I want to read. Telling the best story I can. If someone reads it, great. If someone likes it, even better. Then I write another one. If I type a little every day, I can only get better at doing the writing thing. I won’t get any better by not writing. So, it’s type, or don’t. I chose the latter. I hope you enjoy the result.

So what fears do you need to push past every day? Are the rational? Irrational? Can your brain work past it?

I’m off to overcome my fear of the blank page once more. You should do the same.

Until Next Time…

Stay Awesome!