A case of the, "Oh-No's"
There is a moment in every persons life (sometimes many moments) where you panic and say to yourself, "Oh, no! What am I doing?!"
Which is then quickly followed up with thoughts that go something like this...
I can't do this!
I am not capable!
People will find out that I'm faking this!
I'm not good enough!
This is a pipe dream!
I need to grow up and get realistic.
Sometimes feelings of "Oh-No" can be helpful, they can keep us from potential danger. Such as being in a relationship that is not the healthiest for us, or staying in a job that makes us miserable.
But sometimes... in fact a lot of times, a case of the "Oh-No's" is simply fear. Often times in this case it comes when you are just about to do something amazing. Something you had been dreaming about for a long time. Like a trip to a foreign country or the start of a new business. Or stepping out into your art in a new way.
It is in these times that I must force myself to not succumb to a serious case of the "Oh-No's".
I force myself to stop and think.
I ask myself if this is just fear speaking or if I legitimately think that this is something I absolutely CANNOT do.
If the fear is loud and saying that I cannot do something, I ask myself "why?" Is it because I need more training or expertise in this particular area?
Then I reach out for a resource. A knowledgable expert in an area I am weak in, like someone who has been doing something successfully for a time that I too want to do successfully. Or a book that can help me learn a new skill that I feel I am lacking. Resources abound in our information age and they can be instant help in a time of "Oh-No".
Maybe I need some encouragement. So I speak to a trusted friend or family member. Notice I say "trusted". You don't want to open up to someone when you are at your most fragile and fearful who is not a great listener and who has a tendency to trample over your feelings. Be wise. Be wise with your heart and your fear at this time. It is at a time of "Oh-No" when a lot of people give up and give in to the fear.
I am thankful for synchronicity. Often times I will go through an intense day of "Oh-No.. No, seriously, Oh-NO!" and the evening will find me rather drained. So I give up and throw in the towel for the day and watch some tube feeling a little restless and disappointed in myself. The following morning I'll receive an e-mail filled with encouragement that my "stepping out" into the world in whatever way, has helped somebody else. Either my blog or my art or my class that I have taught or the cookies I gave to a neighbor in thanks for lending me a helping hand.... the more I step out, the more I am given just a morsel here and there (occasionally a deluge) of encouragement to keep on going.
Two weeks ago in the grocery store I got "recognized". This is not something most visual artists are used to, we are not you musicians out there, most people don't know what we look like. But this person had come through my art studio during one of the River Arts District's Studio Strolls and remembered me and my work from the summer. He said, "You're that wasps nest painter, right?!" Well, when you say it like that I sound odd, but OK, I'll take it! Anyhow, for as many times as I have thought I should be worried about my continuous painting of the shapes of wasps nests, at least I was memorable! Turns out, this person was an entomologist!
You never know how stepping out in your uniqueness can really affect people. How dare you or I keep our strengths and perspectives and art from the world. Often times it feels like the world is not begging you to do your thing and that no one would even care if you did, but the truth is, the world is hungry for the unique sincerity of you and what you have to offer. How can you not choose to nurture yourself, your art & your gifts to then give them back to the world that is hungry for them?
"Oh-No's" can turn into "I never did....'s" which can then turn into, "How could I not have....'s?" which is regret. Stop that cycle at the "Oh-No" and live a life of unique sincerity, which does not require perfection, luckily for us.
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