One of the things I learned in the past few years was that fear was keeping me from reaching my goals.
I remember it going off in my head one day like a lightbulb. I thought, “What if… I just went for it anyway?” The results? You’re looking at it now.
It reinvigorated my business, pushed me to new heights, and reignited my faith in myself and my art.
What do I fear?
Like many people, I struggle with fear of not knowing enough, fear of failing, fear of commitment, fear of disappointment and fear of the unknown.
Can I let you in on a secret, though?
While I confront my fears daily, I no longer worry about my fear. I wear it like a badge of honor, because despite my fear, I have learned ways to fight it successfully and learn what I can so I can just do the work that will move me forward.
What does fear do when we let it run our lives?
It results in:
- Lost friendships and relationships
- Failure in our work responsibilities
- Self-doubt in our natural abilities as artists
- Extreme hesitation where we try nothing new (or on the flip-side, extreme risk-taking without weighing consequences)
- Anxiety and regret over life decisions
- Feeling like we have missed the opportunity to pursue what we love because we’re no longer in our teens or twenties
If you’ve felt these things and more, you’re not alone, because I’ve experienced them too.
I want you to know you are not powerless, friend. I was able to break on through to the other side, and I want the same for you.
Here are 10 TRUTHS I want you to read to yourself today:
1. Fear is a liar
Those irrational feelings of fear and anxiety don’t tell the truth. They are feelings. Feelings are ever-shifting, ever-evolving. We can’t trust our feelings most of the time.
We have to know what’s true, which is you are special, you are loved, and you are needed – so is your art!
2. My time is now
There is no age-limit to when you can start making progress. The best time to begin again is today!
I used to feel self-conscious because I never graduated college, but I’ve managed to build a career, gain experience, and consider myself an expert in the ‘science’ of stamping and printing.
3. There is no cap on creativity
The best part of being creative is that the more creativity you use up, the more you get! As long as you’re filling up your inspiration tank with stuff you love – nature, animals, great design, history, etc. you will have never ending river of things to draw/paint/write about!
4. I am unique, and different is good
Ever feel like you don’t quite fit in? That’s a good thing!! Being different, having a unique viewpoint and sharing it is what makes your art stand out.
5. There are no mistakes, only opportunities to grow and learn
I use to believe that if I didn’t have something mastered, I couldn’t try it. How backwards! If I didn’t try it, how would I ever master it? Pick up that paintbrush, throw on an apron, crank up the tunes, and see where the moment takes you.
6. Anything can be figured out
We have YouTube and the internet is bursting at the seams with other artists and designers sharing their work every day. Take a class by your favorite artist, ask a friend, visit a local art studio to see what they have available. Take a design class online, check out books at the library – information is everywhere. You got this!
7. I have nothing to prove
I used to believe if I failed, everyone would laugh and remember it forever. It was an irrational thought because I have failed publicly many times.
One of my first “big fails” was in high school. In track practice, I had the great idea to try to jump the hurdles. I’m 5′ and had never jumped them before. Big. Mistake. 🙂 But guess what? I survived! And I was still a fast sprinter. And no one laughed at me or even noticed.
When we realize we are only accountable to ourselves when it comes to our art and our designs, there is a huge burden that is lifted off our shoulders. If you’re fighting perfectionism, read this post.
8. My gifts are for a purpose
Dear friend, if you don’t know me by now (if you’re old enough, you’ll have that song in your head all day. You’re welcome.), I have no fear sharing my faith. I know that God has put me on Earth to use my natural ability to inspire, challenge, and grow me.
You have to believe you weren’t born with a desire to create by accident. If you do, I encourage you to explore that some more. You are wanted and loved. Your gifts are needed and purposeful.
9. I’m not competing with anyone
Nope, not a single person. Art and design is something that is inspired and shaped by our experiences, our own unique view point, and our imagination. Please, please, don’t compare yourself with other artists or designers. As hard as it is – fight the urge.
You have no idea what path they’ve walked to get to where they are, what type of education they received or didn’t receive, or who worked side-by-side with them. Focus that energy on pushing your limits. You can only be better than the person you were yesterday.
10. I can commit to learning something new
When I started my stamp company in 2010, I had no idea how to design or draw. I doodled my whole life, but making art on a regular basis? The idea was foreign to me. I learned Adobe Illustrator from the ground up, teaching myself over the course of several years. I pieced tutorials together, and really learned as I went.
You, too, can figure it out, and you are strong enough to commit to learning! I fight off irrational fears of commitment in my life every day. “I don’t have time”, “I’m not smart enough”, “This is too hard”. No more.
Today, decide what you will commit to learning so you can progress your art forward.
Now take those bullet points and write them on a sticky note, piece of notebook paper, or whatever is laying around and tack them up someplace you can see them every day.
Put them in your studio, hang them on your mirror, and read them every single day until you start to believe each one. Because I believe in you, too.
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