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Fear, Gifts and Filmmaking: How to Take the Next Big Step

February 11, 2022

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By Colette Nichol, Story Strategist and Solo Filmmaker

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Embracing your fear gives you the chance to really light up and share your gifts. When you’re experiencing fear of failure, you need to go deep rather than avoid it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about two things lately: fear and gifts.

Jimmy and I have a joke that I should write a book called All My Fears. It would be a compendium of the random things I’m afraid of and how I deal with fear.

It would not be a short book!

Here’s a quick shortlist:

+ I’m afraid of being buried alive.

+ I’m afraid of being robbed at knifepoint in a dark alley. (That one actually happened already!)

+ I’m afraid of teetering cliffs that are easy to fall off—but I’m not afraid of heights.

+ I’m afraid of being falsely accused.

+ I’m afraid of being judged for who I really am, so I don’t always let people see who I really am.

+ Most of all, I’m afraid of going all-in on something I really love and care about…only to see it flop!

That last one is one of the biggest fear that gets us creative folks stuck.

We’re afraid of going after a dream and failing. BUT, we’re also afraid, on an even deeper level, of going after a dream and succeeding.

From the outside looking in we’ve all seen people have major successes in their professional lives only to flame out as their personal lives take a nosedive. We’re afraid of what happens when something truly wonderful ignites us from the inside out.

Will it be too much?

And the answer is YES. It will. But, there’s a solution. When you say yes to your gifts and your dreams (and dive face-first into your fears) good things happen. You get stronger. You overcome. You take off.

But then you’ll hit what some people call the Upper Limit Problem.

This is a phrase coined by best-selling author and psychologist Gay Hendricks, and it’s a legitimate issue for people who go after their dreams. We’ve all basically gotten comfortable with a certain level of success and happiness. So if something tips us over the edge into that next level of success or happiness, our subconscious will do something (ANYTHING!) to bring us back into that comfort.

This is bound to happen if you embrace your gifts.

If you decide to pursue filmmaking or video creation or any other big dream, you’re going to soar. And then you’re going to self-sabotage.

It’s the natural cycle of being human. The solution is to know that this is part of our essential arc as the hero of our own journey. When you know it’s part of the cycle, you can catch. You can see that it’s happening and make a conscious choice to expand.

You can essentially decide that you’re okay with expanding your capacity for goodness. Then you let it in.

This whole concept of the Upper Limit Problem is critical to anyone interested in filmmaking or video creation. First, as a writer and storyteller, it’s something all your characters will experience. It’s why your characters have to fail and struggle so much for the story to be relatable.

And second, as a creative, filmmaker, or video creator, you’ll face that upper limit at some point.

You’ll start to self-sabotage.

Then, you’ve got to harness the force of self-knowledge and allow yourself to transform.

It’s funny that filmmakers don’t talk about personal development that much since if you’re in the business of storytelling, transformation IS the name of the game. But, maybe that’s why you’re here and reading this post. Because in the Story Envelope Universe, we talk about transformation and personal development.

There’s no sense in mastering your technical skillset if you don’t also take a look at the mental health and mental strategy piece.

So back to you.

What are you afraid of in the zone of creativity, filmmaking or video creation?

Usually, our biggest dreams are hidden within the confines of our greatest fears. So I recommend taking a look at a few of your fears this week.

See if there are any you’re willing to face.


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About the Author

Hi! I’m Colette Nichol. I’m a solo filmmaker and story strategist based out of rainy Vancouver, Canada. I’ve been making videos and micro films for small businesses and global brands since 2014.

Plus, I LOVE to help aspiring filmmakers pursue their dreams and start making films. This blog is designed to help you gain the knowledge you need to become a filmmaker.

If you want more, get on the waitlist for the Story Envelope Academy Solo Filmmaking Mentorship Program. It opens up 1-2 times per year and is the best way to become a filmmaking or video pro fast!

CLICK HERE to get on the solo filmmaking program waitlist.



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