On overcoming fear.
"Why don't you start a blog?" suggested Meg Kissack (the host of 'The Courage Maker Podcast' who also offers one on one coaching) when I complained about how I struggle to connect to likeminded people.
"I'm not a writer", I replied, "I'd much rather draw than write, maybe I could 'draw' a blog?"
Yes, that was a good idea, we both agreed and so it was decided and a deadline set...
I left the session feeling very excited and my mind immediately spiralled out of control about all the possibilities that opened up for me: I could tell a story, my story!
With all those blogs and podcasts out there, celebrating our more successful peers it's hard not to feel alone with the difficulties of starting out. This blog offered me the opportunity to give a voice to the artist who is still learning, still finding their inner calling and unique voice.
A perspective from artists before they get invited to talk on podcasts.
I sat down the next morning, ready to tackle my new assignment but my mind was cluttered and I couldn't decide on how to start the creative process. So I focused on other more technical aspects. Then I started to write down some ideas for the content but by the end of the month I still hadn't drawn a single line.
The deadline was approaching fast now but there I was, sitting in front of an empty sheet overthinking my next move.
Because with an empty sheet, everything is possible.
That is very exciting but it also made me feel very anxious. Because there comes a point where you have to make a decision and just start. This decision dictates the next and excludes other possibilities – Have I made the right one?
The truth is, I was scared.
This is new territory for me and making me feel very vulnerable.
What if nobody likes it? Or worse, what if nobody cares?
Am I just adding more noise to the already overspilling cacophony of the internet?
I really, really want this to work! Am I trying too hard?
Am I even good enough?
The anxiety was paralysing...
But the determination to give it a try was bigger than my fear.
When we decide to pursue our passion our work becomes an extension of ourselves. We're laying bare a piece of our soul for everybody to see and being artists we chose a direction prone to judgement and criticism. It is very hard not to take negative feedback personal but it's crucial that you don't. You know what they say about opinions, right?
We can't control how our art affects others because it is very subjective. All we can do is focus on what is authentic to us and trust that the people who love our work will find us.
Yes. It does needs a big portion of courage. It's ok to feel scared when you first sit down in front of our 'White Sheet', just don't let it intimidate you, it's only a sheet after all and there are plenty more in the pile.
Be scared but do it anyway. And like Meg so casually but very poignantly mentioned:
"Done is better than perfect!"