Fear of the Unknown

By: Annie Rose Stathes in Book Writing
on June 11th, 2020

Have you heard of the “liminal space”? When you’ve left a familiar shore but you haven’t yet landed somewhere new, you’re in the liminal space. The liminal space is shrouded in uncertainty and marked by not knowing. Nothing’s predictable. Nothing’s guaranteed. Stumbling and flailing abound. You stretch your arms out in front of you, feeling for something, anything, and find nothing. Just wispy, empty air.

For the brain, the liminal space—the unknown—represents threat. Not knowing whether or not a path is safe stimulates a “fight, flight, or freeze” response. In actual danger, the brain’s shift from logic to instinct saves your life. In imagined or perceived danger, like what you might experience in this place in-between, the brain’s attempt to save you can actually keep you from creating, expanding, innovating, and harvesting vulnerability’s many gifts.

When you choose to write a book—or sometimes just consider engaging in such a vulnerable process—you launch yourself into the liminal space. Once there, you might confront a host of questions and concerns:

Does my story really matter?

Do I really have anything important to say?

Will people deem my book unworthy of reading?

Will they read it and shake their heads in disappointment?

Will I waste a bunch of money, a bunch of time?

Will I fail?

Questions and concerns like these stem from your brain’s attempt to gauge the threat. And the truth is, we never know how other people will read, think about, and respond to our creative acts. To write and to share makes you vulnerable—emotionally and sometimes mentally. And that’s okay.

Because just as anxiety, fear, panic, and hesitation live in the liminal space, so too do curiosity, exploration, innovation, and transformation . It’s in the unknown where we can discover, embrace, and evolve to manifest something new. Magic lives in the unknown, and producing results that exist beyond your wildest imagination happens when you dip your oars in the murky ocean and commit to leaving shore.

Being in the liminal space means risking vulnerability and dedicating yourself to the process of rowing—steadily or with your hair on fire—through failure, fumbles, and raging storms. It means risking your ego. Your heart. Your soul. It means saying NO to complacency, stagnancy, and the same ol’. It means saying YES to a possibility that exists in your mind and stirs your passion. It means saying NO to comfort, security, and predictability, and YES to a wild adventure. It means acknowledging that while your current shore is lovely, another one exists whose discovery will allow the beauty, justice, and expansion you see possible in the world to unfold.

Consider what you’ve just read your invitation into the liminal space.

Our team at RTC exists to provide you with a compass, a companion, and a champion as you explore the unknown. We exist to help you clear your path and focus your intentions. We exist to help you cultivate and harvest the gifts of the liminal space. We exist to help you unearth the story you are meant to tell.

If you want to dip in your toes to test the water, that’s a smart idea. We’ll joyfully help you understand what lies ahead .

Or if you’re ready to jump in, we will hold the boat steady and be your guide. Let us explore this beautiful ocean together.