The person who says that he has no fear is a liar. We all fear something. Maybe we are afraid that we are not good enough. That we have not talent and have wasted our time writing or painting or acting. What do you fear? What keeps you awake at night? How do you cope with your fears? Do you run and hide? Do you confront your fears head on?
My biggest fear is not having enough money to pay my bills? I need to know where my next pay check is coming from. I know deep inside that I am not an entrepreneur. I have the desire and the ideas, but I am not willing to risk my financial security. I have tried to start businesses while still employed but have not been successful. And this fear is also why I have not become a full-time writer. I need financial stability so I write part-time.
I am a risk-taker in my mind. I will question any idea or concept. Nothing is sacred. Everything is fair game. And the reason for this, I believe, is that in my teenage years I rejected the faith of my forefathers. If I could challenge God, then I could challenge anything. I am not a risk-taker with living life. I have learned that I need security in the physical world so I can take risks in my mind and soul.
But I have also faced fear and beat him at his own game. I once was afraid of speaking in public, but after 5,000 presentations, I rarely experience fear of speaking. In fact, I have become so relaxed that I am willing to make mistakes and laugh at myself. What fears have you overcome?
What fears are holding you back? What fears are preventing you from being the writer or painter that you want to be?
This week identify the fears that are preventing you from following your creative pursuits. What can you do to confront these fears — to challenge these fears? What can you do to minimize the impact of the fear on your life and happiness?
Isabel Allende was born in Lima, Peru, the daughter of Francisca Llona Barros and Tomas Allende, who at the time was the Chilean ambassador to Peru. Her father was a first cousin of Salvador Allende, President of Chile from 1970 to 1973. Her father walked out on the family when Isabel was three. She spent her youth in Chile, Bolivia and Lebanon as her mother and step-dad moved often. She married Miguel Frias in 1962 and became a TV personality, a dramatist and a journalist. She also translated romance novels from English to Spanish, but was fired for making unauthorized changes to the dialogue that make the heroines sound more intelligent.
Isabel gave birth to a daughter, Paula, in 1963 and a son, Nicolas, in 1966. In 1973, because of the assassination of Salvador Allende, she fled Chile and moved to Venezuela where she worked as a journalist.
Her 1982 novel, The House of Spirits, began has a letter to her 99-year-old grandfather. The manuscript was rejected by numerous Latin American publishers, but was finally picked up by a publisher in Spain. The book was a huge success and has been translated in many languages.
Allende writes on a computer and writes in Spanish. On her website, she writes: "Language is essential to a writer, and language is as personal as blood. I live in California—in English—but I can only write in Spanish. In fact, all the fundamental things in my life happen in Spanish, like scolding my grandchildren, cooking, or making love."
Allende has written more than 20 books that have been translated into 30 languages and have sold over 57 million copies.
In honor of her daughter, Isabel has created a charitable foundation dedicated to the protection and empowerment of women and children world wide.
Here is a powerful, humorous Ted Talk by Isabel Allende. Be sure to watch it all.