From My Story by Olga Korbut, Olympic Gymnast:
“The first time I stood on the high balance beam, I felt like a pilot who had climbed up to the stratosphere. Right away, I fell off, hurting my knee. I lay there, on the floor, very close to tears.
“Immediately, my coach, Ren, was at my side.
“‘What’s the matter, does it hurt?‘ he asked impatiently.
“Yes. It hurt. I wanted to quit.
“Get up, and let’s try it again,’ he said….
“I hated him at such moments….I was too young to know that this was the greatest wisdom that a coach can have. After a fall, a tiny molecule of fear is born, somewhere deep in the soul. If time is lost—even an hour or two—that molecule will grow into an enormous beast.”
What a fascinating insight—and how true this is, isn’t it? We may not be performing on balance beams as Olga once did, amazing the world, but we all know about fear.
As writers, we fear that we don’t know what we’re doing, that we’re not good enough, that gatekeepers who reject us are right, that we need something we don’t have. The list goes on and on, doesn’t it?
As Olga says so well, if we let fear stop us, we fuel it. It grows into an “enormous beast” and consumes our courage.
There’s a simple solution. As Olga observes, you can stop fear instead of letting it stop you. How? By climbing back up after a “fall.” For us, that means we keep going. We keep writing. We keep revising. We keep submitting. We keep pushing ourselves to improve. We get back to the page even if we’ve had lousy results the day before.
Whatever the fear or fears that are holding you back, don’t feed the beast. Keep working and the fears will fade. Write on!
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