As a singer songwriter Carly Simon’s greatest, debilitating fear is performing in front of people. She has struggled with this all her life, and yet she has written and recorded songs for decades. She limits her public performances and has had long stints of time – decades in fact – where she has not appeared on stage. Even with that fear she continued to write songs, such as this one. It was the theme from the movie Working Girl in 1989, where Carly Simon actually created most of the movie score. Somehow she has found a way to get beyond her fear and use her gifts.
Moving beyond our fears does mean those fears always disappear. It simply means we find a way to work around, work through, or even work beyond what has us stuck and terrified. If we are honest with ourselves, at times we use our fears as an excuse for not doing things that we are afraid to complete or even try. Fear can be a powerful preventer. It has the ability to leave us numb or even paralyzed by something imagined. I love the acronym I heard years ago for FEAR – FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. False evidence, sort of like a paper wall. We see it and think it is indestructible when in reality it is as light as paper, when we take the first punch we tear down the wall and are able to move forward. We simply have to muster our courage to make that first move.
As this year is coming to an end, what fear are you experiencing that may be preventing you from moving forward? Is it real or one you have built up which makes it appear real? How do you know the difference? Give that fear a strong punch in the gut and see if it stays standing. Strike through that paper wall and get beyond your fear. Give it a go, try, take a very deep breath and make that first move. If a song writer can continue to write songs, knowing that eventually she will want/need to perform them…then you too can let the river run!