Moving Forward In Spite Of Fear

When last we left Betsy she was with Harry, the white rabbit who is the Guide for her Quest to become a successful independent author. Because being a successful independent author means, well, writing, Betsy was trying to regain her momentum, trying to get moving again, trying to push a boulder up a very steep mountain. Harry was watching her.

But now, while Harry hopped off to get a salad, it seems that Betsy has frozen in mid-push. She is part way up the mountain, still, not moving forward, balancing the boulder on her head.

What in the world is going on NOW?

Let’s see…

*Harry hops up to the mountain where Betsy is standing, frozen, on a ledge about 12 inches up* *Sits on his haunches* *Contemplates her*

What are you doing?

I don’t know! *Betsy’s voice is muffled against the mountain* I don’t know what I’m doing! That’s the problem! *Boulder slips* *Betsy takes a step backwards* *Recovers*

Isn’t that boulder heavy?

Well, of course it’s heavy! You know it’s heavy!

Then I’d think you want to be pushing it to the top so you can stop holding it.

I don’t know! I don’t know if I want to go up to the top!

Uh huh. *Harry considers her some more* Then let it go and step down.

I don’t want to do that either!

Right. *Harry itches an ear* So you’re stuck.

I know that!

And the boulder is heavy, so eventually you’re going to drop it.

I know that too! *Betsy braces herself*

So why don’t you want to push it again?

What if I get to the top and it’s all wrong? What if I’ve been pushing it up the wrong hill? What if I get it all the way up there and it crumbles? I’ll just have been wasting my time!

Then why don’t you want to come down?

Because then I’ll have failed. I’ll be giving up.

Okay. *Harry hops up onto the ledge with ease* *levitates boulder out of Betsy’s hands* Turn around, will you? I can’t have this conversation with your rear end.

Okay. *Betsy turns slowly* *Looks up at boulder* Could you always do that?

What do you think?

Then why didn’t you do it before?

Because you need to push it up. Now, what’s all this about? I know you’re trying to build your momentum again, but you’ve got this. You love doing this. You’ve wanted the opportunity to write for your whole adult life, and now you’ve got it. Granted, the circumstances aren’t ideal, but the opportunity is still there. Why are you freezing?

*Betsy wipes snot from nose with back of hand* I’m afraid.

*Harry studies her* What are you afraid of?

*Betsy looks away* *Drips some more* Can I sit down?

Feel free. *Harry gestures, then joins her sitting on the ledge* *Boulder remains suspended*

*Betsy looks at her hands* I’m afraid that I’m just fooling myself. I’m afraid that this is stupid.

*Harry smacks her on the back of her head*

Ow! *Betsy rubs her head*

Don’t make me do that again. You don’t really think it’s stupid, not deep inside. If you did, I wouldn’t be here and you wouldn’t be pushing a boulder. So please do me the favor of telling me the truth.

*Betsy scowls at him*

Don’t make me hit you again.

*Betsy sighs* Okay. I’m afraid that this is more than I can handle, that I can’t keep this going, that I’ll never get the boulder to the top and then it will roll down the hill and smush me. Or I’m afraid that if I get this boulder to the top, I’ll never be able to do it again. Which means being a successful independent author is just a lie.

*Harry hits her on the back of the head again*

Ow! Harry!

Listen to me. You can do this. And if you push this boulder to the top of the hill and then the next one and the next, it’s going to get easier because you’ll have that momentum. And you’ll have more momentum because you’ll be able to keep pushing.


*Harry holds up a paw* But you can’t freeze. Like I said last week, you have to keep moving. If you’re moving forward, it all seems possible, but if you let the fear rule you then nothing does.

*Betsy thinks* Maybe I’m afraid that I’ll be successful. And if I’m successful then that means there’s pressure to keep being successful.

But you don’t want to stop.


And you’re a professional now.


So you have to keep going. You have to keep going even though you’re afraid. You have to keep going in spite of the fear.

*Betsy thinks* I have to do what scares me.

*Harry beams at her* Exactly! How else are we going to see what’s at the top of that hill?

Maybe the fear is a warning that it’s bad.

No. In this case, the fear is a hurdle. It’s a challenge to see how far you’re willing to go.

*Betsy thinks* The fear is trying to stop me.

Yes. Fear usually does.

Or maybe I’m trying to stop myself.

*Harry cocks his head* You think?

I don’t know what’s going to happen, and what I’m trying to do is a little unusual, so I’m afraid of the consequences.

On the other hand, consequences never really stopped you before. *Harry coughs* Credit cards *coughs*

True. *Betsy pushes herself to her feet* *Climbs back under the boulder* *Braces* Okay. Let’s go.

*Harry releases the boulder into Betsy’s hands* There’s nowhere to go but up.


To be continued…



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