Listen up, you guys. It's time to set the record straight on creativity and fear. There is some kind of bullshit notion floating around out there that creativity requires fearlessness. Or that creativity cannot, as this image claims, coexist alongside fear. Making it seem as though only the fearless can be creative. (First of all, who are "the fearless"? I've never met them. I have certainly never been them.)

To be very clear: Creativity can ONLY coexist with alongside Fear.

I have always lived a creative life, and I know that you can't be creative without being vulnerable. And you can't be vulnerable without experiencing fear.

I have come to believe that Creativity and Fear are in fact conjoined twins; they share all the same major organs, and they cannot be separated without killing them both. And you don't want to murder Creativity just to destroy Fear! (People do this all the time, and it's tragic….don't do it.) You must accept that Creativity cannot walk even one step forward except by marching side-by-side with its attached sibling of Fear.

They have to learn how to coexist, in other words, and you must learn to accept them both, if you want to invent things.

So here's my magical thinking — I decide every day that I love Creativity enough to accept that Fear will always come along with it. And I talk to Fear all the time, speaking to it with respect, saying to it: "I understand that you are Fear, and that your job is to be afraid. And you do your job really well! I will never ask you to go away or to be silent, because you have a right to speak your own voice, and I know that you will never go away or be silent, anyhow. But I need you to understand that I will always choose's Creativity's ideas over yours. You may join us on this journey — and I know that you will — but you do not get to choose the direction in which we will walk, and you will not stop me and Creativity from making plans and decisions together."

And then…onward we march: Me walking right beside Creativity and Fear, who are enmeshed forever, limping along, definitely a little weird-looking, but forever advancing despite each other.

Coexist, guys. It's the only way.


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall