Saturday, September 13, 2014

How I Learned to Deal with Worrying and Avoid the Bomb


I heard something fantastic the other day - “Treat worry like a heckler, not a mugger.” It’s an interesting distinction that frames all the things that stop us in our tracks, into a trajectory that allows us to move forward. It being the end of summer, and the spirit of Back-To-School is all around us (in forms of office supply sales), and being based in a city like New York; this mindset feels particularly pertinent.

It’s absolutely useless to pretend that your worries don’t exist. Ignoring your problems usually create far worse ones down the line, we know this, but it’s worth reminding ourselves every once in a while. Making ourselves the victims of our own brain and allowing fear to rob us of everything is obviously not very useful either. Better to acknowledge it, assess it for any merit, own up to what is true which allows room for dismissing whatever it is that we made up ourselves. No point worrying about a mere remote possibility if it stops you from doing something that is important.

Dealing with personal failure is a basic job requirement of, well, people in general, but people in the creative arts, especially. We can try to draw inspiration from famous stories of how failures made incredible things possible, from Edison to Steve Jobs and everyone in between. However it’s one thing to know, intellectually, that failing is a process and not an ending, it’s a hard to accept platitudes when we’re in the middle of it. Stopping to evaluate the voices in my head has always been the best I’ve come up with to coax myself out of the fetal position and get on with it. When that doesn’t work, there’s always ice cream, and Netflix, and another morning to try again.