Neophobia: Do You Have a Fear of Starting New Things?
Confession time: I am starting something new and I am afraid.
I’ve been wanting to start my own website for a while but something always held me back. To be more specific and little more honest, those things were self-doubt, my inner critic and a flawed belief that I am weird and no one would be interested in a website about living life as a spiritual unicorn.
The Madisons and Lady Luck: Conversations with Creative New Zealand Women
When I created The Madisons with my bestie Mariana, it was intended as a place we could write what we wanted. We’d share whatever was on our minds be it memoir or satire. But mostly it was simply light content that made people laugh.
It wasn’t long until we were contacted by creative women and women in business who were interested in working with us. So we interviewed them. As we met more and more of these awesome women we started to realise that there was a pattern emerging. All of these creative women were following their hearts. They felt called to spend their life doing this work. It was a compulsion that enviably became their life whether they had wanted it or not. Most of them created to live and lived to create. All of them felt guilty in some way for dedicating their lives to their creativity. Once we discovered this we just knew we had to write a book. Thus Lady Luck: Conversations with Creative New Zealand Women was published.
Writing: My Saviour and Sanctuary
During this time I was going through a process. I was in the throes of post-natal depression with my youngest son when we launched the blog and writing became my saviour and my sanctuary. At night, after a full day with two young kids, I’d sit at my computer and write something. Anything. As long as it had nothing at all to do with parenting and children. I wrote about vaginas and nipples. I wrote about poo and tunnels and pubic hair. With every sentence I typed out I felt my mind clear a little. Just enough for me to see that there really was a person underneath the all layers of baby chuck and kid slobber.
Failed English Student Cum Paid Writer
Having failed high school English, I never in my life thought I’d be able to write. But it turned out I loved writing and people loved reading what I wrote. Back in high school, I’d bomb assignments due to a failure to read the instructions and a tendency to self-sabotage by leaving things to the last minute. But at the time I wasn’t aware of any of this. I just though it meant that I sucked, that I wasn’t very smart and could never hope to be. But here I was, 15 years later, spending every spare minute writing and getting paid for it! I loved it second only to my family (and if I’m being really honest maybe sometimes a tiny bit more).
But the voices of self-doubt were still there, muttering their less-than-sweet nothings in my ears. I knew that if I wanted to do this, if I wanted to spend my life as a writer, I would need to conquer them. I’d need to embark on a journey through my inner world. I would need to go deep and get to bottom of why my self-esteem was not as it should be. I’d also need to un-learn a lot of false self-beliefs. Things like: Nothing good ever comes of anything you do, you’ll fail and people will laugh, you’ll get stuck with something and give up, or don’t bother trying if you can’t be perfect.
Damaging Self Beliefs Can Prevent us From Trying New Things
All of these beliefs can be so damaging when you’re wanting to try something new. It’s our mind’s way of protecting us from shame, embarrassment or disappointment. But as Eleanore Roosevelt said: “You gain courage and confidence from doing the things you think you cannot do.”
As I learned more and more about the self – the inner critic, self-doubt and self-sabotage – I realised just how brutal the creative process can be and how important inner strength is. I felt called to create a space where I could share my findings and offer advice for others who were striving to live their best life. I felt like The Madisons wasn’t the space for it, that something like this needed its own realm to grow and bloom and evolve! Enter Full Time Unicorn Dot Com!
Full Time Unicorn
So I got to work designing my site, making it look beautiful. I worked day and night for a week to get my head around WordPress and web hosting and all that jazz. Once it was done, I sat back and marvelled at it. And then I did nothing.
I had no idea where to begin! What do I write about? Where do I even start? I had this whole web page free to fill with my musings and I had no idea what to say. I started to panic. Did I even have anything to say in the first place? Cue imposter syndrome!
It reminds me of the lyrics to this song by The White Stripes:
Well you’re in your little room
And you’re working on something good
But if it’s really good
You’re gonna need a bigger room
And when you’re in the bigger room
You might not know what to do
You might have to think of
How you got started sitting in your little room
Remembering how I got Started
So that’s what I did. I took a step back and took a breath. Why did I want to start this site? I asked myself.
I wanted to start this site because I wanted a space to be a truthful and spiritual and as woo-woo as I pleased. I wanted to create a dedicated world of woo-woo, full of crystals and tarot and meditation and manifesting methods, as well as tricks to help others open their mind and start truly living life, doing what they love!
My Woo-Woo Shame
The truth is that for so long I’d felt a little ashamed of being a bit “woo-woo”. I felt like I needed to apologise for being me; for pulling a tarot card every morning, for keeping an altar next to my bed and honouring the moon’s cycles. I felt a like I had to laugh after I said something about astrology or attributed anything to a planetary retrograde. But you know what? Fuck that. I am woo-woo. I LOVE woo-woo!
I worship nature and light candles to manifest things into my life. I say affirmations into the mirror most days and sage and santo my house on a regular basis. I honour the god and goddess. I practice feng-shui and draw runes on my front door step. I look for signs and synchronicities ‘ever I go. My kids know not to step inside a toadstool ring because it’s just common knowledge that they’re faery traps. For goddess sakes, I steam my vagina and practice spiritual bathing! As far as woo-woo goes, I think we’ve officially crossed that bridge to Terabithia don’t you?
Confession time: I am as woo-woo as they come and you know what? I’m not sorry about it. And you shouldn’t be either. Be yourself, unabashedly. Apologise to no one. You are a fucking unicorn.
Neophobia is defined as: An abnormally persistent fear of new things. My neophobia has lessened over the years and a large part of that process came down to simply doing the things that triggered the fear. I learnt ways to work through the panic attacks. I pushed through the fear and found a way to “just do it”. The thing about having a fear of starting new things is that once you’ve actually started them, they’re not new anymore!
So here we go. First post done!