informa
2 min read
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The Possibility of Possibility

Attempting to start a business or create a game can summon petrifying fear. Is it the sheer amount of work to be done, the intimidating competitive landscape, or is there something else that produces such intense anxiety?

"Anxiety can just as well express itself by muteness as by a scream."

(Originally posted on Prologue Gamesthanks to +Laurie Zolkosky for sharing the original inspiration. All quotes are pulled from the Brain Pickings piece on anxiety & creativity she shared)

“Because it is possible to create — creating one’s self, willing to be one’s self… — one has anxiety. One would have no anxiety if there were no possibility whatever.”

I've experienced my fair share of anxiety since starting this journey of independent development  but have had a hard time pinning down exactly why. It's easy to point to the workload, the competing interests, the uncertainty of the next paycheck, but I think it's been more than that. It's freaking scary to create something. What if it sucks? What if I can't find the way to express what's inside my head? What if I do get this idea out but no one likes it? What if...

"One would have no anxiety if there were no possibility whatever. Now creating, actualizing one’s possibilities, always involves negative as well as positive aspects. It always involves destroying the status quo, destroying old patterns within oneself, progressively destroying what one has clung to from childhood on, and creating new and original forms and ways of living"

It's easy to long for the safety of another environment. It feels easier to work in someone else's possibility space than to create my own. But at the end of the day, I am really attracted to the idea that I should embrace the anxiety.

"[W]hoever is educated [by possibility] remains with anxiety; he does not permit himself to be deceived by its countless falsification and accurately remembers the past. Then the assaults of anxiety, even though they be terrifying, will not be such that he flees from them. For him, anxiety becomes a serving spirit that against its will leads him where he wishes to go.(emphasis added)

So here's to embracing anxiety and tearing down the false sense of security that the current environment provides. Without the possibility of something new, why are we even trying?

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