October 18, 2014

Running Towards Fear by Gloria Guest

I have run smack, head on into the obstacle called fear many times in my life and I have to admit that a lot of those times I chose flight over fight. It has been no different when it has come to writing. Fear has been a barrier to me in my writing ever since I first realized that I had the ability because with that ability, came the realization that other people could read what I wrote and criticize or judge me. In my years working as a reporter I dealt with it on a daily basis and did learn to take a deep breath and get it done. However, in my own personal writing the fear has been harder to get over.
Team Work

When I think about how to deal with that fear I think about an obstacle course that my son participated in when he was going through training at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. Each trooper was placed on a team that trained for weeks in preparation for the competition. The course was gruelling with many challenging, timed obstacles. However the pièce de résistance was the twelve foot wall that the troops had to climb over without the use of a rope. There is even a sculpture on the grounds of the College dedicated to this obstacle entitled, ‘to overcome.’ My son’s troop practiced this particular obstacle diligently.

Pulling the last man up and over!
On the day of the event my husband and I followed our son’s team around the course, cheering them on. Finally they came to the Wall. I stared at its formidable height not sure that they were up for the challenge. I was about to be amazed.  The first two troopers climbed up on others shoulders and hoisted themselves atop the wall. Then they leaned down and gave a hand up to the next ones climbing up off of other’s shoulders. The last person had to take a mighty run, jump at the wall and grab onto a hand offered by someone who was himself hanging onto another. It was quite the feat but within a short time they were over. Their team didn't win the obstacle course, but they were proclaimed the fastest troop over the wall! They were true over-comers and it was all due to practice and diligence.

In military training they are taught to run towards fear; to choose to run towards the very obstacle standing in the path between them and victory. And the only way that lesson is learnt is through repetitive training and discipline.

There are so many analogies from that obstacle course that can be applied to my own fears when I write. I face obstacles. I want to get over them and be victorious whether it’s posting a blog or publishing an article or book. I can only do so with diligence and repetitive training. And sometimes, as in the case of the wall, it takes team work and a hand up. It could be from an editor, a mentor or friend.

Ultimately though, it is the hand of God that reaches down from that obstacle and offers me His hand. He encourages me to run towards my fear and take a leap of faith that He will be there for me.

I will overcome.


  1. The example of the wall is such a powerful one. thanks for this Gloria. (And I like the pretty purple, too - just sayin'!)

  2. Life is an obstacle course and our writing goals and practices become our obstacles. Thanks for this wonderful and inspiring post that includes several life lessons,especially the reminder that we can put our hand up to God for assistance.

  3. Thank you both for the kind comments. You are part of the team that helps me get over the wall of fear :)

  4. So much good stuff in this post, Gloria. The choice to run towards fear is learnt only through repetitive training and discipline. That's telling me to keep working at my writing in a disciplined way--and keep submitting despite rejection. Thanks for the pep talk.

  5. Love the analogy of the wall.
    Also like that many walls have windows, and there are numerous options of dealing with walls in life.
    I too am thankful for the hands that help us out.
    Thanks for writing!


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.