Mon, 23 May 2016
Karen Thompson Walker believes that fear is here to teach us. We often think of fear as something to avoid, but what if we could learn to view fear as a kind of harbinger to creativity and risk? Meaning, fear will almost always be partnered with the two. I’m not talking about things we should be afraid of such as putting ourselves in harm’s way like walking down a dark and dangerous street late at night. I’m talking about something else: the kind of necessary fear we encounter when we try something new or challenge ourselves to be more, better, and even the best version of who we are. My guest today is the bestselling author Karen Thompson Walker, who is here to show us how fear can actually propel our imagination, as it forces us to imagine a different, possible future and how to cope with the fear that instills in us. In her own creative life, Karen has not only embraced her fear, but she’s even allowed it to inspire her recent New York Times bestseller, "The Age of Miracles." And in her popular TED Talk “What Fear Can Teach Us,” she explores the wisdom to be gained from fear. I'm not talking about the irrational kind, but the kind that acts as guardrails or warning signals as we find our way through the world. Whether or not you consider yourself a creative person, we have all experienced a resistance to fear in our lives in one way or another. And as the old saying goes, if we can’t go around it, we must go through it. Maybe creativity and fear are “conjoined twins”--like Elizabeth Gilbert suggests--so you can’t have one without the other. Maybe the point is...if we spend all of our energy trying to become fearless, we will miss the lesson of what our fear has to teach us. Anyone of us who is willing to move beyond their comfort zone will certainly feel it. Karen is doing meaningful work in revealing fear’s surprising wisdom, and we now have the opportunity to hear more about her unique perspective.