Angela Kelsey

Tell the Story


Filed in Stories, voices :: February 25, 2012

Seth Godin brought my lizard brain to my attention, but awareness hasn’t been enough to help me ignore the fears and rages and drives of my amygdala.

Last fall when I read that Jonathan Fields had a new book coming out called Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance, my lizard brain impulsively pre-ordered it. When it arrived, I read the first twenty pages, and put it down–not because of any failure of the book but because I was distracted (probably by some fear or doubt).

Yesterday, knowing that I would blog about uncertainty today, I started reading again.  As is often the case, the book is tailor-made for me this weekend; I wouldn’t have responded to it the same way four or five months ago.  And so today I am marking up every page. Tonight I will finish it and order copies for friends.

Fields writes, “The ability not only to endure but to invite, amplify, and exalt uncertainty, then reframe it as fuel is paramount to your ability to succeed as a creator.”

The lizard brain advised reconsideration of this post.  Couldn’t I just write about this once I was finished with his process? After I had mastered invitation, amplification, and exaltation of uncertainty?

I preach and preach again, to my workshop and to myself, that writing doesn’t flow fully formed from my hand in the first draft. Why should I expect my life to flow fully formed without any process? Okay, my lizard brain said, But do you really have to let anyone see it? This Shitty First Draft of a part of your life?

Fields anticipates this amygdala question and shrugs:  “The more you lean into uncertainty and the greater the risks you take to create something that didn’t exist before, the greater will be the potential for you to be judged and criticized.”

Okay. Creation, here come my lizard brain and I.  And we’re going to learn to turn uncertainty into fuel.

Want to join us?





Filed in Stories, voices

1 Comment

  1. wholly jeanne

    i love that quote about the risk for exposure to judgment that grow exponentially with creating. and i adore the notion of turning uncertainty into fuel. i’m with you – in with both feet.