Your Tomatoes Don’t Fool Me

I watched a beautiful yet horrifying video recently about how conventional tomatoes are picked green then forced to ripen in a gas chamber before going to market. Hence their perfectly even red coloration. I know, right?

Following an odd little breadcrumb thought trail, I started thinking about how those of us called to the spotlight (having a life purpose of “Creative Expression in the Spotlight” or an Apollo Star gift marking indicating “Fame & Fortune in the Arts”), are no strangers to the land of the false tomatoes.

In hand analysis terminology, a “tomato fear” is used to describe the fear of having rotten tomatoes thrown at you while you are performing your art.

(Your art = that Thing you do, e.g. write, speak, act, dance, sing, paint, etc., for your audience.)

The thing is, your tomato fears don’t fool me.

Are they fooling you?

Here’s what I know.

Fear is fear, nothing else.

Our silly and oh-so-sweet-and-well-meaning, reptilian-brain-driven inner critic voices would like us to believe, “No, really, I’m serious this time, you could really die from this, you better pay attention,” but we know better.

Fear is just that thing that stands in the way of our big dreams.

But we — and yes, I do mean wesimply cannot allow ourselves to be swayed by that voice of fear.

Steven Pressfield said, “Figure out what scares you the most and do that first.” 

See, I know you are terrified to pursue your dream.

I know you think you are just bored and haven’t found what you are passionate about yet.

But I also I know you picture yourself being laughed off the stage or out of the audition.

Or that people will secretly say behind your back about your writing, “She’s not really that good.”

I know this, because your tomato fears don’t fool me.

I know you are petrified.

I am too.

Let’s do it anyway.

Your Turn

I always love hearing from you in the comments on my blog.




Coming Attractions

~> October 31st. Monday. The next session of my Writer’s Circle starts. Really, don’t miss it. If you want to write but you aren’t finding the time for it or being consistent or accountable to your dream, this will give you just the kick in the pants you’re looking for. Sign up here.

~> November 10th. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough ‘Big Vision’ Group. Sold out. Details about future groups — yes, you might want to get on the mailing list.


~> Next Tuesday. Right Brain Business Planning with my buddy Kris Carey.

~> Ongoing. Writing for the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU. There’s so much more to come!

~> FRIDAYS & now daily too. Sacred writing time. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.



  1. holy sh*t! I AM scared and that fear has TOTALLY kept me from doing what I’ve been put here to do. but NOW, I’m naturally vine-ripened and ready. Go ahead, world! throw your rotten tomatoes!!

    Thanks for always believing in me, Jenna!!
    You’ve given me new perspective on what it means to stand in the spotlight!

  2. Hi Jenna,

    Fun tomato analogy. What they do to food horrifies! It’s all unhealthy unless it’s grown nearby.

    I run into the fear that’s how much I love it now! Nothing like standing up to folks. Find it exhilarating and every time I do, learn something new.


  3. Jenna, you had me at “tomatoes.” Being a “Fierce Idealist/Farmer’s Daughter” this post spoke to me in so many ways.

    We raised thousands of tomato plants every summer – 7000 one year. I’m happy to say vine-ripened tomatoes are in my heritage and I totally disdain those gassed things. And I don’t even like to eat tomatoes!

    It’s 9:30pm here and I’m a little silly so you have to forgive me, but all the memories your post brought to me helped me come up with an image of being “grounded” in real earth when I feel fear. And I have years of experience to pull from. Thanks for bringing up these pleasant memories tonight –pleasant memories of work no less :)

  4. Jennifer Carmack says:

    But yes, we have no tomatoes! We have no tomatoes today!
    Thank you for a fun and inspiring article Jenna!

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