10 Minutes with Cressida Bonas

I spent 10 minutes with actor and friend Cressida Bonas discussing her wonderful podcast 'Fear Itself', lockdown and sustainability,

I started listening to your podcasts at the beginning of lockdown what first gave you the idea to do a podcast on fear?


It came from looking at my own fear throughout my life. That fear of the
unknown, of not being good enough and the fear of loss. The fearful
thoughts that can be so limiting and the inner critic that was taking up
too much space in my life. When having these destructive thoughts, the
anxiety can be quite overwhelming. On the flip side, fear motivates me, it
pushes me forward and it forces me to be courageous. I was interested
in this dynamic and I wanted to learn from others about their fear. I
started journaling and interviewing people with just a pen and paper and
later thought it might be useful for other people to hear these stories…
and so I started recording them. I’m very aware that I come from a
comfortable and privileged position compared to so many in the world,
but I think these sorts of conversations are so important, no matter who
you are or where you come from. Getting to talk to a range of people
from all different walks of life means there is always a variety of different
circumstances and experiences to learn from which is truly wonderful.

What are the most interesting things you have learned about peoples experiences of fear?


That we are all afraid (unless you’re a sociopath). Even the most
confident seeming person, doctors, phycologists etc. We all have fear.
Especially in these very uncertain times. It’s one of the qualities that
makes us human and links us together. People manage it in different
ways and their journeys are always very different depending on their
childhood and how they see the world. I feel there is something different
to learn from every guest.


How do you perceive fear?


That we need fear in order to survive and we need fear in order to be
brave. It’s also one of the ways we can learn more about ourselves. But
people find it hard to talk about or communicate because there is a false
idea that fear means you’re weak. I think we see this especially in men
and I think that can be very dangerous.

 

For me fear can often come out as anxiety is this something you can relate to and if so how do you manage that.


Yes, I definitely can and that’s how this idea initially came about. I try to
manage it by not running away from it, but instead looking at it,
challenging it and realising that it’s ok to be afraid. I’ve always wondered
what does ‘fearless’ actually mean? A word that I’ve always found
slightly irritating. I believe that being able to be vulnerable, to speak your
truth even in the face of fear is what fearless means to me. I hope that
from listening people can learn more about themselves and perhaps feel
less alone with their own fear.


The past 7 months have been incredibly unsettling and many people I know including myself have this increased fear of the future. I have found it important to try and find as much positives in our current situation as possible, what positives have you have taken from the last year?


To be grateful for the small things, the simple things in life that perhaps I
took for granted before. To think about what I want and where I’m going
in my life. To treasure my family with all my heart. In this series of the
podcast, I’m doing some special episodes called Love Itself, where I ask
the guests what love means to them and I have had some amazing
conversations. I hope that we will come out of this this very strange time
with more empathy and more love towards each other.


During isolation we have been forced to slow down and practice more
sustainable ways of living do you think this is something you will take
forward coming out of isolation?


Definitely. This time has made me stop and ask those questions and
how I can practise those more sustainable ways of living. I’m someone
who has always loved to travel and going forward I hope to still travel,
but being more mindful and conscious about how etc. I don’t think there
needs to be so many planes in the air! I also know these new practises
can’t just happen overnight, it requires a huge amount of learning and
unlearning of bad habits!


How much do you consider the sustainability of a garment when
considering a purchase? 


To be honest I was always quite ignorant around this which fills me with
shame! It’s something I’m more aware of now, but I still need to learn A
LOT more. That’s why brands like yours are so wonderful because as
well as buying something beautiful, you’re also teaching people a more
sustainable approach to buying.

What are your go to brands?

KAPARA! Of course. I love the small brands that are original, authentic and where you can find pieces that
never seem copied - they have a life of their own.

Finally, how do you like to switch off?


I’m not very good at switching off. I do really love reading, I get through
so many books. It’s how I learn, it’s huge escapism for me. Not sure
what I would do without a good book! I also love a great Netflix series… Ozark is the best.

Thank you so much Cressie for your time, to listen to FEAR ITSELF please click on this link. It is such a beautifully thought out podcast, every episode offers something different and teaches you some truly valuable insights.