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Ariel's Musings

  • Writer's pictureAriel

What if ... What then?

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

Roadblocks, obstacles, and fears get in our way of going where we want to go. Being whom we want to be. And doing what we want to do.


A duck crossing caution sign
Fear is a Caution Sign not a Stop sign.

How do we move pesky obstacles out of our way? How have I moved past mine?


Life is filled with obstacles and fears, yet each day, we move forward, some with greater stride than others, but time moves us forward whether we participate or not. It is like being on a boat in the ocean. No matter what we do, we never stand still. There is always movement. But the question we must ask ourselves is, do we want to be reactive or proactive in our own story?


Here are a few things I have learned that help me move beyond the roadblock of fear.


What is Fear?

Fear is an emotional response to a trigger, real or imagined. Standing on the edge of a cliff can be fearful. These what-ifs are important. They allow you to be cautious in your decisions and are worth listening to. On the other hand, when our fears prevent us from doing what is safe to do, they are more like an anchor on a boat in the desert.


Fear is a caution sign.

Realizing that fear is an emotion that helps you stop and think, you can see it as a friend. Fear is there to protect us, but most of the time, it turns into worrying or an obstacle to doing. This emotional response is based on our thoughts. We are thinking about what might happen and not dealing with what is. When we learn to stop and let go of those negative thinking patterns, something amazing happens, we free up all that energy to make things happen.


I read a book on overcoming fear many years ago that was one of the most liberating secular pieces of work I have read. Some lines that have become a part of my thinking patterns are:

  • Feel the fear and do it anyway,

  • The only way to overcome fear is to do the very thing you are afraid of,

  • What happens to your comfort zone when you stretch outside it? It becomes bigger.

  • Ask yourself what the worst thing that can happen is.

  • How likely is that to happen, really? And

  • If our worst fear did happen, what would you do? What if?

Like everything in life that has been thrown at you so far, you would handle it.


We can use fear as a roadblock, or we can use it as a stepping stone for growth.


See the emotion, feel it, and then acknowledge it as a helpful emotion. Our response to it is where we can make a choice.


As a photographer working hard to share my work and grow as a professional, how does this help me? How does this help you, my fellow travelers?


Roadblocks for many of us are fear of failure, fear of rejection, and the good old impostor syndrome.


Ask the Big What if?

What if? What if you fail? Or what if you succeed? What then? What if you enjoy the ride? Do the work and learn and grow and share. Your moments will be better. Will it be scary? Yes! Will there be good days and bad ones? Yes.


Are the benefits worth it?


Yes, 100 times yes! Let's go out there and feel the fear and DO it anyways.


Enter competitions, submit for publications, ask a mentor for help, and try some new genre, technique, or lens. Get outside your comfort zone. Post your work. Do something that scares you. (Not dangerous, just scary, this is not a license for stupid, Sorry, I had to add that disclaimer, in case.)


My hopes are not filled with being rich, famous, and elite. My hopes are in sharing God's creative beauty and hope. If I make someone smile with my work, I have succeeded. These are some of the richest moments I have.

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Helpful Resources – most are available on amazon

  • Fear the fear and do it anyways – by Susan Jeffers

  • How to Stop Worrying and Start Living – by Dale Carnegie

  • Overcoming the fear of Success - by Martha Friedman

  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – by Stephen Covey

  • The best life book is the collection of 66 books we lovingly call the Holy Scriptures.

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Project - My thoughts and Ramblings

A 52-week Introspective Writing Project - Jan 2023

Week 1 - Roadblocks

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