And how I face them every day...
One of the biggest things we face every day is the fear of failing. Whether that is failing at our job, failing as a mother, a father, a friend or as a husband, wife or partner. We all face it. We all go through it. We all doubt ourselves in one way or another.
Something I have faced all of my life is the fear of failure or rejection and that became increasingly apparent when I decided to pursue a career in art.
For a lot of artists out there who decide to go at it freelance, they will often break into it slowly whilst still working a part time job etc, because freelancing is damn scary. There is a lot on the line! Not me, I dived straight into it, and here is why… Working a regular job just wasn’t possible for me. I’m being completely open here and public talking about my struggles with mental health. At the time I struggled pretty intensely with agoraphobia and depression. Working a regular job wasn’t possible for me because most of the time leaving the house wasn’t possible for me. Working from home was probably one of my only options back then, so I had to jump in at the deep end. Thankfully, it has worked out so far. Along with it my mental health has improved massively.
I originally thought that working from home was great, I would not have to leave the house, and by thinking like that I was avoiding my problems. It turns out that whilst running a business there are times I would actually need to get out. I had business meetings I needed to get to, and that meant I had to face other people and the outside. Art gave me something to focus on and take my mind away from my troubles and immerse myself into a whole new world of fantasy and creativity. I think because of the problems I had, my fear of failure was amplified ten fold. I am now at a point in my life where anxiety and panic attacks are at the back of my mind, and I have art, my daughter, wife and friends to thank for that.
Without realising I was putting my self straight into the firing line for failure and rejection, or at least the perceived feeling of it. Being a freelance artist there is always the fear that just around the corner will be a period of not having any work, there will be people who don’t want to work with you, or clients who are dissatisfied with the work you have done. As well as the fear that after putting everything on the line, and trying to become fully independent of clients, you make zero sales. But the biggest one is the fear that nobody will like your paintings, and you will be rejected. Looked straight past.
But what we learn in time is that as long as we keep going, keep following our dreams and ambitions we can never truly fail. True failure is when we give up and accept failure.
Monetary gain, Facebook likes and followers are all materialistic values, and what matters the most is our happiness. Being able to be positive about the progress and art we are making is all that matters to get past this.
Don’t give up on your dreams, and don’t listen to anybody that tries to put you down. Especially, don’t listen to your own self-doubt. Not to say you shouldn’t listen to constructive criticism that is intended to help you, because there is a big difference between that and someone who is just out to criticize you.
Just do what you love. Success comes after that.
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