With every project you make, there comes a time when you have to face your fears. It's like jumping off a cliff into open space. It is terrifying and exhilarating. Fear causes nights of staying awake, fretting about your creation and days filled with an ever present and niggling worry that you just can't shake off. It persists until you have named and faced down your fear.
After all my years of making, this is still true for me. I'm in the midst of setting up a new creative business. I've got a string of failures behind me including this Etsy shop and not much success. My confidence is low. I know I can make great products, the question is, will anyone want to buy them?
I've spent ages researching, planning and costing. I got stuck in analysis paralysis and the fear crept in and grew. Now it's time to invest in some raw materials and get making. But I'm terrified. What if this is yet another failed venture? What if I don't have what it takes to see it through?
For a long time, I just felt the fear and didn't know where it was coming from. I put it down to the significant amount of money it is going to cost to set up. But that was just hiding from the truth. The truth is, I was s**t scared of another failure. All those failures and no successes are eating away at my confidence and self esteem. When you keep putting yourself out there and failing repeatedly, it hurts. It hurts a lots.
The more I practice I particular craft, the less fear it holds for me as my confidence and skill levels easily outweigh the fears. On the other hand, the more I try to make stuff and fail at selling it, the more cautious and fearful I become.
Knowing where the fear is coming from has helped me to come up with a plan of attack. Naming it was the first step for me. Naming it helped me to see that I could push through it. That I could keep on going. Yes I have failed. But it is far better to fail at doing something that I love than be stuck in a dead end job.
The key to facing your fears? When you are stuck, give yourself time and space to examine what is really going on. It can be as simple as going for a walk, talking to a friend or meditating. Remind yourself that you are talented and amazing and that whatever it is, you can face it. Because you know you can. You've done it a million times before. You've just forgotten all those other triumphs.