Growing past the scary bits.

November 14, 2008 at 11:04 am 3 comments

I’m in a place right now, where I feel like nothing is going right. I mean, I know there are some things that are going right, but it just doesn’t feel like it. I feel like I’m being blocked left and right. No commissions are coming in, or they fall through, or no one ever calls, no matter how interested they seem. I only sold one small piece at the gallery. The local country club keeps putting me off. Someone bought an art greeting card, and then canceled the order. I just end up feeling like everything is falling through.

But I’ve learned that when stuff like this is happening, when I feel like I’m failing, or like I can’t do anything right, I need to ask myself – what’s going on inside of me that’s causing this? What do I need to change within me to get better results?

And really, this is what it boils down to:

I don’t think I deserve better results. I mean, obviously I want better results, it’s not about that. But deep inside of me, do I really feel like I deserve to succeed? No. Not really. I think its pretty crazy that anyone could want to buy one of my paintings. I don’t expect people to come through with commissions. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to buy one of my art greeting cards.

I expect to be forgotten.

I expect to be ignored.

I expect no one to buy a damn thing.

I see myself as small. I find it hard to see my own worth. That’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time. I expect everything to go wrong – and you know what? It is.

So what if I changed my expectations? Better yet, what if I allowed myself to feel bigger? I keep myself small often times. I resist expansion, because I’m afraid of all the “what ifs” (ohhh, the what ifs). What if everyone hates me? What if they think I’m nuts? What if I try really hard and they still ignore me? What if they think I’m pathetic? Useless? Worthless?

And I think a lot of people starting their own business come face to face with these fears. Putting yourself out there has that effect. It brings up your stuff.

So what if I could allow myself to shine? What if I could allow myself to be more fully me? What if I could learn to see my own value, and my own worth? How would things change?

I think they’d change immeasurably. What if I could let go of needing someone’s approval and permission to be myself? I feel like right now, I need approval. I need someone (lord only knows who) to tell me, “Yes, its okay to be you. You’re alright, and you can succeed. And you deserve to shine.” But what if I could say that to myself?

What would that feel like?

In a word – glorious. I think that allowing myself to be fully me would be the most wonderful, glorious, magnificent feeling in the world. It would be a place where I would be able to put myself out there with no fear of others’ judgment (real or imagined). It would be a place where I could grow and no longer feel like I’m holding myself in. I’m reaching a point where its more painful and scary to remain stuck than it is to expand and grow.

But I’m not quite there yet. And I can’t force my growth either. I can only meet myself where I am in this moment. But at least I know where I’m headed now. And bit by bit, step by step, and I can practice being me. Writing this blog is one way of doing that. Painting is another. And these things grow, and build upon each other, and spill over into other parts of life.

Until one day, I will no longer be afraid to be me.


Entry filed under: Fear, Stuff That I Can't Categorize. Tags: , , , , .

It’s done! It’s done! Oh my god, I’m setting goals. Somebody tell CNN.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. shelli  |  November 14, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Sarah, you can’t personalize the lackluster sales right now — the economy sucks! Beautiful art is definitely a luxury, and even the well off don’t believe they can afford luxuries right now.

    Be patient, and maybe promote your calendars for Christmas — that should be a good seller right now.

    In the meantime, remember CFS rule #1 — be gentle with yourself.

  • 2. badkittyartstudio  |  November 17, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Rule #2- Ask the right questions. Not what can I do inside myself? The question stinks my friend, you won’t get what you are looking for with that question. Try instead, What can I learn from this experience? That is a question that will help to keep you going when you don’t have a reason to keep going anymore. The world is in the crapper my friend, the crapper I say. Sales suck for the most experienced of us. Just keep adverstising in any free way you can think of…keep blogging, join places like Red Bubble and Gaia…and keep on keeping on. It took me over two years of hard work to get to a place where I could make a living off my art, that was ten long years ago, and I am still busting my hump to keep it going…it takes time…and the attituide that nothing will ever stop you…fail or not…never say die. 🙂

  • 3. smlacyart  |  November 18, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Thanks Heather!
    You’re totally right. I guess what I was trying to figure out, is more why I’m NOT doing those things, and just getting scared and not putting myself out there. Fix the cause, and the solution falls into place. But I will take your advice and definitely do those things.


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