Psychiatrists have proposed that our greatest fear is actually the fear or being afraid. They say that often our imagined outcome of a situation is much more terrifying than what actually ends up happening. In the hospital, we imagine that the pain of the needle will be a lot worse than it actually is. When those fears are conquered, however, it often produces a snowball effect of confidence, or what we’ll call, courage. When we face the needle once, it often becomes easier and easier to face it again. Our imagined pain on the flu-shot is not nearly as painful as the actual pain. We have conquered the fear or being afraid.
Courage isn’t something that a select few artists are born with. Courage is the byproduct of facing the jeers of the crowd and discovering that it really didn’t hurt as much as you thought. It doesn’t matter what the reviews said, they didn’t kill you, and you can still get up tomorrow and try again. Courage is born and bred from the exhilaration that comes with facing and conquering fears.
It’s not, “gain courage, and then make art.” In fact, it’s completely the other way around.