Wednesday, July 21, 2010


On my last post, I talked about change and its best buddy, fear.

Now I just want to give you some encouragement if you're contemplating making a change and your stuck because of fear:
Don't wait until the fear goes away before you act -
act until the fear goes away.

Please don't think I'm being glib or unrealistic or foolish. I decided to go for it with my art but I didn't just quit my day job and risk raising my kids in a cardboard box. As a matter of fact, it was years before I could quit my full-time job, then awhile longer until I could transition my part-time jobs into contract work, and it could still be another 9 months or twelve years before I can stop doing accounting altogether.

So, what I am encouraging you to do is to think it through:
  1. What is my fear?  Name it.
    - Are you afraid you'll be embarassed?  Um.  So?  Okay, THAT was glib.  But really, it's not like you're having a wardrobe malfunction onstage at the Super Bowl.  If embarrassment is your fear, then just be very careful  who you tell - or tell no one.
    - Are you afraid you'll fail?  You've heard about Thomas Edison and his 3000 attempts to find a filament.  Failing often breeds better ideas.
  2. Where did this fear come from?
    - Is that just me hearing mean old so-n-so again?  We often play these tapes over-and-over in our heads because some kid in third grade or a cruel teacher or, worst of all, a bad parent told us we weren't good enough or we were stupid or some other judgment based more in their problems than on anything we did.  Do we really want to give him/her/them control over our current life? 
    - Or, maybe it's your gut telling you something isn't quite right.  Then research it a little more (I'm a firm believer in listening to your natural instincts.).
  3. Is it a valid fear?  Could this actually happen? 
    - Am I really incompetent?  Be honest.  Shut off the tapes and evaluate the situation and your abilities, time availability, energy level, etc. 
    - What is the absolute worst thing that could happen and could I live with it? Don't exagerate either. Again, be honest.  I think you'd be surprised how much easier it is to do without material goods (not basic food & shelter, obviously) when you're doing what you love.  That's why they have to pay you more to work for jerks than to work for nice people. 
  4. Can I address/resolve any valid issues/concerns? Seriously, is there really a true possiblity that you cannot find a way thru or around this obstacle given enough time or effort?  I am willing to bet you can find someone to help you in exchange for your help at something (quid pro quo makes the business world go around).  Maybe your ideas dovetail with someone else's.  Maybe your spouse is ready for you to finally be happy and will do anything to make your dreams come true (yay for my hubby who feels this way).
  5. Make a plan.  Man.  This step alone is a biggie.  Jessica Howard has a time management post and her step three fits here: Make a map and keep following it. I'll just advise that you think of everything you can and then be flexible.  New things will be thrown at you.  Good things.  Bad things.  Boring things. Adjust the plan.
  6. And then, to throw one more quote at you - probably one you've heard the most:
    "Just Do It!" - Nike™
The artwork today is by Sylvia Drown. I "met" Sylvia in Kelly Rae Roberts online class, FLYING LESSONS, where we talked a lot about facing our fears. I couldn't believe how perfectly the quote on here dovetailed with my post and I am very excited to now own this piece.


Kerry said...

Hi Sherry. Thanks for your reminder about overcoming your fear to really live the life meant for you. I love your new acquisition you lucky thing, it's very appropriate to this current theme. I still cant believe how different my life is since doing Flying Lessons.

Kerry said...

Thanks for the link to Sylvia's blog. It's also a fun and happening place to visit.

Diane said...

Great post, Sherry-and alot of these "fears" sound very familiar to me :)
Mostly the so'n'so telling me things about me, when they didn't even know me.
I'm trying to do things that scare me, and I'm being very pleasantly surprised.

jgr said...

Hi Sherry,
I love this post and yes, the fears sound familiar. I love the positive energy of all my artist blogging friends. Thank you for the link too, I'm off to check it out.

Denise said...

Hi Sherry...fellow flyer! I'm been struggling a lot with fear lately and really loved this post. Thank you!


Joella said...

As you know I've just opened my new on-line facebook shop... things have been slow getting up and going, there are days when I wonder "what am I doing this all for?" was one of those days, thank you so much for sharing this post... it's just what I needed :) J.

Silke said...

Hi, Sherry, that's excellent advice!! And having read that, I am going to get off my behind and make something creative today!! You are an inspiration!! Hugs, Silke

Sunny Lee said...

Thanks for the Good advise~~~ Ya..time to time, we all face fear... but don't need to be afraid of it nor avoid it.
Love your bird by the way...~

Amelia said...

this is such a lovely post. I love it when people encourage others to follow their dreams and get over their fears. It's not glib at all what you are saying. I too I am in the throws of phasing out part time freelance work I don't particularly like, to follow the 'art' dream!

I agree we have to 'do it', and have self-belief etc. I have written an artist's manifesto and put it on my blog for others to download (as a pdf) and funnily enough just put a post about dream mapping. I will go and look at the mapping you talk about here.

I love the new look and the art work and wish you every success! I know it will work, as it's true that persistence and determination count for most successes :)