Feeding fear.

Feeding fear.

Fear is real and is also not real.

It’s real in the way that you feel it. As an immediate, somatic, and emotional experience. In the moment, your fear is palpable. Perhaps it even triggers past trauma or disrupts your interior world in a way that is extremely painful.

Fear is not real in the way that it so often misrepresents what’s happening in your exterior world. The small cues that quickly morph into big catastrophes in your mind rarely become your full, lived reality.

Which is not to say that the thing you’re dreading won’t happen, just that it’s not always as bad as your fear would have your anticipate it’s going to be.

Money fear is no different.

Beyond a scarcity mindset, money fear isn’t just stressful and limiting, it can bring you to a complete standstill. Financial paralysis is fed by cycles of overwhelm. Depression. Anxiety. Despair.

At a time when you need to be your most creative—and possibly take a few more risks—money fear will shut you down and freeze all forward motion. Not being able to cover your basic needs in the short term devolves into an eternal apocalypse within a matter of minutes.

Money fear is real and your way of reacting to it are common and understandable. At the same time, you must not feed it.

In their book salt, nayyirah waheed writes,

when creating. be kind to your doubt.

hear it out. thank it for its concern.

and reassure it that you are an artist.

and risk is essential.

The same goes for your fear. Money is complex. You may be facing financial instability that is affected by your race, class, sexual orientation, physical and cognitive abilities, or some other integral part of your identity and reality.

This is all valid.

Even still, your work as an writer—as an artist—is to move beyond the fear. To create in spite of it. To stay the course and keep making good art.

It’s to not feed the fear. Temporary financial changes do not mean long-term financial devastation. When you indulge in this possibility more space opens up to seek out comfort and use your money in a way that’s gratifying in the short-term.

The other option is to the best you can with the resources you have available to you as you figure out your next steps. It’s to keep doing the work you feel called to do as you stay focused on where it is you want to go long-term.

Which is difficult and essential work. And you can start by paying attention to how you might be feeding your financial fear. The more aware you are of that, the more able you are to interrupt counterproductive reactions to financial shifts in the moment.

So, how do you feed your fears around money?

Let’s start there.

Just enough.

Just enough.

Processing despair.

Processing despair.