What  are you afraid  of?

 We are one week out from the start of #RISEUPBOOTCAMP!

I hope you have all had some time over the last few weeks to decide on what your project is going to be. If not, don't worry. This really is hard to figure out. 


Something I learned in the first few years of being a documentary filmmaker was that deciding to fight for a cause can be an absolute roller coaster emotions. It’s gratifying! —but also terrifying. It’s the excitement of coming up with an incredible idea, and it’s the absolute fear of how it will be received. So today, before we begin this journey, let's talk about how we are going to deal with that fear. 






A letter to your fear…


Soon it's going to be time to tell the world about this incredible project you are dreaming up. Starting a new project that requires you to stand in your truth and put yourself out there is scary! Vulnerability at its most intense! But if you can push past the initial fear, the payoff is priceless. I have a feeling you know that. But if you are like me the fear still can get the best of you. So today we are going to do a little exercise before we get started on our projects to try to nip some of this fear in the bud. 


Author, Elizabeth Gilbert writes so beautifully about fear. Instead of endorsing that aggressive, “punch fear in the face” type of approach, she teaches that the best way to manage fear is through curiosity, gentleness, and patience. (If you haven't read her book Big Magic, go get it!)


Fear doesn’t do well being ignored, suppressed or counter attacked. It really just wants to be heard. So today we are going to give our fear a little attention in the hopes that it will be satisfied for a while and go away so we can get our projects started with a little more peace!


Your work today is to write a letter TO yourself FROM your fear. 


Since today is all about vulnerability, I am going to share the one I wrote to myself from my fear when I started The Activist Collab. I was so anxious and kept putting off my first post about the project week after week because I let my fear get way too big. That seems so ridiculous to me now but it was very real then (which was only a few months ago!). 


Ok, here goes 🙈:


This idea is totally insane. You have never really worked with young people much before, they are going to think you are old and very out of touch. Just because you have filmed a lot of activism doesn’t mean you know how to help people become activists. You know what you are good at, stick with that. Work isn’t always fun or uplifting - who can you even think of that has a fun and inspiring job? There will be no money in this. All that traveling you love to do will go out the window. Plus you are doing this on your own and you are terrible at finishing anything you start. This will be just another one of those projects that sounded good and went nowhere. Your reputation is at stake! All those people who say they support you really just feel like you need some encouragement - they don’t really think its a good idea.


What if it doesn’t work and no one wants to participate and you can’t raise any money? Another project will come along that you will think is interesting enough, even if it is someone else’s dream and not yours. Everything is fine they way it is. Stop all these ridiculous conversations with total strangers about this crazy idea. We are doing just fine. 

Love, your FEAR


This is an abbreviated version - I am sparing you from every dark corner of my mind! But I am sharing this because I really don't think these are uncommon fears and maybe you will see yourself in here somewhere. For me I think the biggest thing I got out of this was understanding what was putting my fear into overdrive. What I realized is that my fear is very into feeling safe - and this project was outside my safety zone! It thinks the best way to keep me safe is to stay as small and predictable as possible. My fear also doesn’t trust me. It is actually super paranoid and doesn’t seem to trust anyone. But one thing that really stuck out to me, was that my fear doesn’t trust ME to figure all this out. It doesn’t trust my experience or trust me to make mistakes and learn from them and move on. My fear is so busy protecting me, that it forgets all the cool stuff I have accomplished in the past and all that I have the potential to be.


Once I finally realized this I could have a little compassion and sit with it for a bit. I figured out a few things I could do to add some safety measures in, then I got the eff back up and just did it. None of those things were actually going to kill me if they happened - and honestly some of them have and I am still here writing to you! Alive and well and very proud and happy with all I have accomplished with this project so far!


So now its your turn…


What does your FEAR need to get off its chest before we all start this journey together?


Quote of the day…
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”


- Rosa Parks



I really hope these Idea Spark emails have helped you come up with some sort of an idea for #riseupbootcamp! If not, please still join us - you never know when its all going to click.


The point of us all doing this together is so we can actually do it together so please join Slack so we can all get to know you and encourage each other!!


If you haven't yet, you can join below. Hope to hear from you soon!

#riseupbootcamp runs from August 1-14. 

        See you in your inbox on Monday at BOOTCAMP!!!