Today is December 9 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often are you afraid of something, yet do it anyway?” People like Carrie Fisher believe "Stay afraid but do it anyway. What is important is the action. You do not have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow."
Fisher was born on October 21, 1956, the daughter of Academy Award-nominated actress Debbie Reynolds and pop singer Eddie Fisher. With her parent’s divorce, Fisher turned to books and acting. She never finished high school because she appeared in the musical Irene alongside her mother.
Fisher made her film debut in Shampoo (1975) but it was Star Wars that catapulted her to international fame. In a 2011 interview she said that when she got cast in a 'little science fiction film,' she just thought of it as a bit of fun. But the film "exploded across the firmament of pop culture, taking all of us along with it; it tricked me into becoming a star all on my own." Over the following decades Fisher appeared in other Star Wars films, stared in other movies, and wrote several books.
Unfortunately, Fisher experienced trouble with alcohol and drugs. In 1985, for example, she was rushed to a hospital after accidentally taking an overdose of sleeping pills and prescription drugs. Fisher also openly discussed her battle with bipolar. Carrie Fisher's fame as an actress may have rested on just one role in Star Wars but she portrayed a character that would become one of the best known in film history.
She was remarkably frank about her personal difficulties she fought to overcome. "There's a part of me that gets surprised when people think I am brave to talk about what I've gone through she once said, 'I was brave to last through it.'" Fisher navigated the chaos by openly discussing her problems, moving forward amidst personal difficulties; and challenged herself to grow professionally. People that navigate the chaos seldom let fear stop them from moving forward.
English actress Dame Helen Lydia Mirren said “Don't be afraid of fear, Throw caution to the winds. Look fear straightaway in its ugly face and barge forward. And when you get past it, turn around and give it a good, swift kick in the ass."
Mirren began her acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1967 and is one of the few performers who have achieved the Triple Crown of Acting, having won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2007, after two previous nominations, for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen. She received an Olivier Award for Best Actress in 2013 for her West End performance in The Audience, in which she also portrayed Elizabeth II, and in 2015 she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her Broadway performance in the play. The Audience was written by Peter Morgan, who also wrote The Queen. Mirren won three consecutive BAFTA Awards for Best Actress between 1992 and 1994 and her first of several Emmy Awards in 1996 for her performance as police detective Jane Tennison on the British television series Prime Suspect, which ran for seven seasons between 1991 and 2006.
Susan Jeffers, author of Feel the Fear...And Do It Anyway had to feel her own fear to get the book published. In the Foreword to the 20th Anniversary Edition, Jeffers wrote "So many publishers rejected my book in the beginning I almost gave up trying. I put the manuscript away in a drawer for a few years and almost forgot about it. One day, I decided to clean out that drawer and there it was...waiting for me. I sat down and read through it again. I couldn't push away the feeling that my book had something important to say. As so I 'felt the fear' and tried once again to find a publisher; and with the help of my agent, finally did.”
How often do you throw caution to the wind?
How often can you look fear straightaway in its ugly face and barge forward?
How often can you give fear a ‘swift kick in the ass?’
Can you ‘stay afraid but do it anyway?’
If you are waiting to be confident why do you think that is?
Is your belief in yourself strong enough that you can just do it (whatever it is) and know that the confidence will eventually follow?
Have you put a dream in a drawer too fearful to continue pursuing it? If so, is it time to unpack that drawer and once again, work towards translating your dream into reality?
How often do you remind yourself that those people who you admire, most likely had to ‘kick fear in the ass’ to translate their dreams into reality?