Slide background

Cobalt Blue: A Novel

A novel for courageous readers and seekers, COBALT BLUE is a turbulent, gorgeous ride into sacred sex..

Order Now

Emails to my Therapist

Find A Role Model for Facing Fear




A nice tip from an old Bottom Line Personal:

Finance writer Dyan Machan brings together success secrets from a bunch of notable successful people.

"Diane von Furstenberg, founder of a hugely successful clothing company (DVF), reminds herself that her mother survived a Nazi concentration camp.  Compared with that, what is there to be afraid of in a career decision?"

I used to think sometimes of a man who had survived the Blitz in London, who never again feared anything.  And in fact, DvF herself has long been one of my heroes. 

Another personal example: For some weeks once, while I was having a wrestle with a particularly difficult piece of fiction, I would stop and read a bits of a memoir by Lucy DanielsWith a Woman's Voice.    It's extremely revealing and covers some raw experiences.  I'd read a few minutes of this book and then think:  well, if she can write this about her own life, I can surely keep on with this made-up story. 

A particular role model may be useful for only a day, or for one narrow specific need.  Still the practice can be very valuable.

Just now I need to find someone who seizes my imagination and who models well doing first things first.  This person wouldn't put off the trickiest phone call until late in the day.  Note:  That part about the  imagination is also important; a role model doesn't work (for me, at least) unless I feel some sort of personal connection, some sense of spiritual or intellectual kinship, whether I know the person or not. 

Are you good at returning phone calls fast?  What's your system?

Follow This Blog


Categories: conquering fear, courage


  • January 8, 2011 at 4:30 am Reply

    When I had lots of phone calls to return (Ha!) I always did the hardest ones the first 30 minutes of my workday. That was one "rule" that was worth enforcing for myself – the good feeling and sheer relief of having gotten those done and off my plate made the rest of the day seem like a party.
    And interestingly, after a period of doing that, the number of phone calls I labeled "difficult" decreased, as I began to experience that generally they weren't really that bad – it was my perception that they might be, and the procrastination simply added to that.
    If you get something out of the way fast it doesn't have time to accumulate much dread around it. 🙂

  • Peggy Payne
    January 10, 2011 at 7:21 am Reply

    Billie, you are so wise.  I love that you found the difficult ones decreasing.   Intellectually, I do know the dread-increasing effect of procrastination…which I have learned experientially.  And read about just last night in The Week (reprinted from the New Yorker, more on this later)

    But this is a "rule" I've only toyed with, not adhered to.  Think I might substitute it for some of my more pointless "rules."

Leave a Comment


Follow This Blog