Wednesday, April 25, 2012

getting past the fear of me

skye is a total type-a, list making maniac who has discovered a place to unleash her creativity through blogging and creating. she makes custom upcycled artwork at her dining room table for her shop, thumbprint designs. she shares her stories, inspirational thoughts and love for handmade and connecting on her blog, neathering our fest. 

one of the biggest and scariest obstacles i have overcome in the last few months hasn't been a fear of roaches (actually haven't overcome that one yet) or being petrified of losing my father after the tragic loss of my mom or worrying from month to month how the bills are going to be paid. the hardest wall i have been hitting over and over again is the fear of me. the fear of listening to my heart. the fear of declaring who i am. the fear of recognizing talent within myself.  the fear of being criticized or rejected for that talent. the fear of simply being me. to begin with, i still haven't shared with most "in real life" people that i have a blog or that i am a "blogger". is it just me or does it seem those who don't blog look at you kind of funny when you do tell them you have a blog? and starting a blog is a really scary thing too. when i first started this one i was inspired by layla at the lettered cottage. and i still love her blog and read every post she or her husband kevin writes. but i was gauging my success against her success. um. what the heck was i thinking? blogs are not overnight success stories (for the most part anyway). i thought i would write a post and people would flock to my newborn blog and love it into a bubble of success. i was wrong. after a pretty rocky few months of figuring out that followers do not mean blog happiness i realized that i had a handful of loyal followers and i was, and still am, very happy with that. then i started realizing that i wasn't really happy with my job. i wasn't sure where this realization would take me but i knew i had to find something to make me happy outside of work since i am literally so miserable here. i also knew one of the goals in my three year plan was to open an etsy shop. so i found something that i, praise the Lord, love to do and did it. then i realized that if i wanted to sell anything, i had to actually show them to people and talk about them. i then reverted to my second grade self. what if they laugh at it. what if they call it stupid. what if someone says that they have seen much better ones somewhere else. what if. what if. what if. so i started small and shared my signs with people i was very close to. basically people that i knew wouldn't say "aww that looks awesome!" even if it did look like a monkey's behind but that would be truly honest with me. and by george - they liked them. they wanted one. they told their friends. the first one i made was for my sister-in-law's baby shower. people commented on it even without knowing that i made it. meaning that yes, i listened in and kept my ears perked for any mention of it and yes i am paranoid and was worried that if they knew i made it they would be polite and say it was nice and then roll their eyes when they turned away from me. i started turning my "what if's" into "so what's". i used what little bit of courage i gained from the feedback on that sign to actually make some more and open up a shop. i took a deep breath in front of my computer one night and clicked the "publish" button on etsy to list my first item. and then i checked out for a few days. i published a blog on here telling you guys about the shop and the new items and then i let it go. i didn't tried really hard not to worry about what anyone else said. so what if they laugh at it. so what if they call it stupid. so what if someone says that they have seen much better ones somewhere else. so what. so what. so what. about a week later i logged back in to etsy. i knew from the experience i had with starting my blog that i would not be flooded with purchases immediately. i didn't expect for anyone to have even seen my shop by that time. so you can probably imagine the thrill i got when i saw that someone had added one of my signs to their favorites! someone who did not know me and who really liked what i made enough to add it to their favorites! yes. yes! YES! this was a big exciting deal for me! and then someone else added my shop to their favorites. and then the world stopped when i got an order. an actual order for a sign. someone liked my creations so much that they ordered one as a gift for someone they loved. i was so proud. and yet - i was still not proud enough or confident enough to share this really exciting event with my "in real life" family and friends. or, in 21st century terms: facebook. that little booger called fear continued his dance in the back of my mind. and then it occurred to me... if you can't be proud of your own work how can you expect others to be proud of it? so i stomped on that voice in my head and squashed him. i updated my facbook status with something like "woo hoo! i just got my first etsy order! my inner cheerleader is saying 'go you!'" and then prayed that people wouldn't think i was bragging or showing off and they would know i was genuinely excited and also looking for positive support. God does funny things. facebook i was totally shocked at the reaction i got on facebook! it was exactly what i needed to hear from people that i knew would be supportive if i just gave them a chance. it gave me another little push in the right direction. i'm still nowhere near over the fear that still throws his occasional party in the back of my mind but i have come a long way since i first started. i have to mention that it has also been totally invaluable to have my husband's total support in this as well. he has helped me dig through piles of wood on the side of the road and sweated over a circular saw to help me cut bigger chunks of wood down to a workable size. he tells people about my signs that i would have never thought to mention it to. he even wrote in my anniversary card that he was excited to be helping me in this adventure. he is my biggest supporter. (i think it helps that i have quit trying to paint every piece of furniture we own white and install new flooring on my own.) anyways - all of that was to say this. don't be afraid to get past the fear. if fear is what is keeping you from being the best, most amazing you that you can ever possibly be then you have to find a way to get past it. find a group of close friends you can confide in that will support you and be honest with you. learn, learn, learn as much as possible about what you want to do. don't be afraid to mess up and start over. find what you love to do and don't be afraid to let it make you happy!