When I was a kid I used to be afraid of things.
I can’t remember exactly what they were, but they were silly and mostly based around superstition and religion and such.
When I got older those went away for the most part, but I still don’t watch the latest generation of horror films. I think they’ve mastered too well the science of injecting disturbing crap into the brain.
I don’t think it’s healthy for creative people to have that type of stuff bouncing around in the subconscious.
The other reason I stopped being afraid of pretty much anything most people are, e.g., the dark, ghosts, spirits, demons, the boogey man, etc., is because I’m afraid of something much more real.
This is actually a common thing that happens for people, where as adults they start to worry about things like rent and jobs and bosses, and less about ghosts.
But I take this to the next level.
Any time I feel even the slightest tinge of an old fear, I ask myself a simple question:
What if I never accomplish anything of significance?
BAM! The fear is banished.
In short, when I’m worried about not being a productive person, about not reading enough, not writing enough, not having enough good ideas, not having enough smart conversations with enough smart people—it’s nearly impossible to be afraid of anything else.
Mediocrity is the real boogeyman, and unlike ghosts and other false threats, it actually is waiting for you in the dark.